Crews keep close eye on Grapevine after Wednesday reopening

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Snow and ice on the Grapevine made for dicey driving conditions early Wednesday morning.

So crews shut down all lanes of the heavily traveled section of I-5 at around 6:30.

William Brown and his family hit the closure from the south side. He says his GPS offered him a detour.

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But it wasn't a good one.

"It said that the road was closed, and so it directed us back towards (Interstate) 5, which we thought was closed and so they put us back on there," Brown said.

By that time, the CHP had started to slowly lead drivers through the mountain pass.

Two hours later, traffic was flowing normally.

Wednesday morning's closure wasn't the first.

The freeway has been closed intermittently throughout the week.

"The snow started coming, and we're not going to shut it down just because it snows, but the roadway froze over," CHP Officer Rich Anthes said.

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More snow is expected later into the evening and in the days ahead, so the CHP says you might want to consider avoiding any trips through the Grapevine for a while.

"If you can postpone it for a week, this is kind of a bad week to do it," Anthes added. "So if you are going to make the trip, make sure you got plenty of gas in your car because we've had people stuck in the closure before, and you don't want to run out of gas."

But snow is just what Eric Edvardsson and his girlfriend wanted to see on Wednesday.

They found a way around the south side closure point, eventually ending up in the Lebec area.

"We traveled that way about 20 miles and just little side of the road spot, did some sledding, did some makeshift snowboarding," Edvardsson said.

By the time they finished having fun, I-5 was back open.

It meant their trip back home to the coastal city of Ventura would be short and stress-free.

"Yeah it would be around three hours without the 5," he said. "And now it's just over an hour and a half."

The best thing you can do to know about closures on the Grapevine is monitor social media accounts of Caltrans District 6 and 7, as well as CHP Fort Tejon.

You might also want to consider checking Caltrans' Quickmap or downloading the app.
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