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Caltrans reopens Grapevine with escorts

Caltrans officials announced just before noon on Wednesday that the grapevine had been reopened to through traffic with California Highway Patrol attendants.

The commuters woke up Wednesday morning to find that the grapevine was closed due to weather conditions in the high mountain pass. Within a few hours, however, the streets had reopened.

“We usually open the freeway after a few escorts, but that’s not a guarantee,” said Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the CHP Newhall office.

The Grapevine, which runs north and south on Interstate 5 between Kern and Los Angeles, has been periodically closed this week due to snow and ice.

UPDATE: CHP is escorting groups of vehicles on NB & SB I-5 through the “closed” area at #Grapevine after conditions improve. However, more snow this afternoon can hold up the escorts. In this case, both NB and SB can resume full closure at any time. @ CaltransDist6

– Caltrans District 7 (@ CaltransDist7) January 27, 2021

At around 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Caltrans District 6 tweeted that there was snow over the grapevine and California Highway Patrol officials were running the traffic due to snow.

Shortly after 6 a.m., snowfall caused Caltrans District 6 to request a closure for an unknown duration, according to the CHP’s online incident report.

At 7:04 a.m., the driveways of State Route 138 to the north and south sides of I-5 were also closed. CHP officials said around the same time that the vine was reopening, they had also started making escorts on the SR-138.

It closed and reopened on Wednesday less than a day after it temporarily reopened on Tuesday afternoon. Truckers and cars were able to drive through on either side of the freeway before the latest weather system went live early Wednesday morning.