The two right lanes of the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway between Lake Hughes Road and Templin Highway in the Castaic area will remain closed for the time being while officials further evaluate the integrity of the lanes and two retaining walls damaged in the Route Fire, Caltrans said Monday.
The two left lanes remain open, and southbound I-5 lanes remain open.
Caltrans said that now that the wall has stopped smoldering, materials, structural and geotechnical engineers were able to conduct field reviews and found that some of the vertical steel columns were warped, wall tiebacks were broken and horizontal anchors into the dirt may have been damaged.
The cracks on the asphalt road where it meets the concrete shoulder have widened to two inches. Much of the timber lagging has fallen off of the walls while the remaining boards have burned.
Engineers took steel samples and will have them tested in a laboratory in Sacramento on Tuesday. No timetable was available for the full re-opening of the northbound freeway.
Officials advised motorists to continue to expect heavy delays and to use alternate routes as much as possible, namely SR-126 to Highway 101, or SR-14 to SR-138.
Meanwhile, firefighters laboring under intense heat continued making dogged progress against the fire, with containment up to 98% as of Monday.
The Route Fire, which began around noon Wednesday alongside the Golden State (5) Freeway north of Lake Hughes Road, has burned 5,208 acres, destroyed two structures and led to seven heat-related firefighter injuries.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Angeles National Forest were working as a unified command. Cal Fire, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol were also assisting.
Ridge Route Road remained closed between Templin Highway and Pine Crest Place to all but local access and emergency crews.
The fire threatened 500 homes at one point last week, and briefly caused some areas to be evacuated last week.
The seven firefighters who suffered heat-related injuries Wednesday have all been released from the hospital and were “doing well,” authorities said.
There were no reports of any other injuries.
One home along Ridge Route was destroyed, and a separate outbuilding in a different location was damaged, Angeles National Forest Fire Chief Robert Garcia said Thursday.