5 Freeway over Grapevine back open after snow conditions led to overnight closure

CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) -- Both sides of the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine are back open Monday following an hourslong closure that was prompted by heavy snow conditions and several traffic collisions.

Caltrans officials said the southbound side was back open shortly after 4 a.m. with California Highway Patrol officers escorting drivers. The northbound side took longer to reopen due to heavier accumulation of ice.

After a long morning of cleanup, the northbound side was officially reopened shortly after 11 a.m.

Frustrated motorists shared how they coped with the traffic nightmare overnight. Some even stayed in their vehicle overnight.

"We were trying to go to Delano. We were going to turn and go right back home to L.A. We saw the traffic, we were barely moving," said stranded driver Liz Sanchez. "Walking would have made it 10 times faster."

In addition, the westbound transition from the 138 Freeway to the 5 Freeway was closed and the 138 is closed from the 5 Freeway to the 14 Freeway.

It appeared a number of collisions and the snow accumulation led to officials shutting down the freeway on Sunday afternoon. Snow accumulations of up to four inches were possible on the Grapevine, along with gusts up to 35 mph.

RELATED: I-5 over Grapevine closed amid traffic collisions caused by snow
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Interstate 5 through the Grapevine was closed Sunday night for hours due to heavy snow and several traffic collisions.

The closure left many drivers stuck in the Lebec area. They were able to pull off the freeway, but local hotels had no rooms left. Many spent their time just waiting around at gas stations and rest stops, and sleeping in their cars.

Kay Bailey and her three children drove from Bakersfield to Thousand Oaks for a gymnastics event. They stopped at Magic Mountain to eat and that turned out to lose them crucial time to get back before the road was closed.

"And now we're stuck," she said. "As soon as we got off the exit we started sliding. So we're stuck in the car."

For her three kids, ages 12, 9 and 7, it was the first time they saw snow, so they did manage to enjoy themselves while they were waiting.

Drivers were advised to keep an eye on the Caltrans District 6 and 7 Twitter feeds for updates.
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