Freeway closure detours
A Caltrans map of the affected area on northbound Interstate 5. Photo credit: @CaltransSanDiego via X

A major stretch of northbound Interstate 5 will be mostly closed late Friday and remain blocked through the weekend to make way for bridge repairs.

Authorities warned motorists to avoid an area that stretches from downtown San Diego to National City beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and for travelers bound for the airport to plan ahead and leave early.

The 56-hour closure, the second this month, is set to continue until 5 a.m. Monday, though the last closure, the weekend of Sept. 8, ended early, by Sunday afternoon.

This weekend’s closure will allow Caltrans crews to repair the northbound bridge deck over state Route 163.

Traffic will begin to taper after the I-5 Mile of Cars off-ramp in National City. Successive lanes will be closed at the West Plaza Boulevard off-ramp and the Osborne Street off-ramp.

“This proactive work will ensure the structural integrity of the I-5 bridge through downtown for years to come,” Caltrans District Director Gustavo Dallarda said. “During this closure weekend, please avoid using I-5 through downtown and travel on alternate routes like SR-163, I-805 and (the) 15.”

One lane of northbound I-5 will remain open to access Interstate 15 and various state routes, including the 94 and 163 and the Coronado bridge, as well one lane through the work area.

Northbound I-5 will remain accessible from the eastbound SR-75 connector from Coronado.

Drivers headed to San Diego International Airport were advised to detour to the 15 north or Interstate 805 to Interstate 8 west and then I-5 south.

The airport authority advised travelers to allow more than two hours before their flight departs to account for potential traffic congestion and delays and to take either the airport’s free all-electric shuttle from the Old Town Transit Center, or the MTS 992 bus from the Santa Fe Transit Station.

Caltrans workers will also use the freeway closure as an opportunity to clean, maintain and inspect hard-to-reach areas, the agency reported.

Messaging signs will be in place to encourage alternate travel and advise of the closures.

According to Caltrans, some on-ramp, off-ramp and connectors to northbound I-5 will be closed to limit the amount of traffic using the single lane through the construction area:

  • Westbound SR-94 connector for the duration of the work
  • F Street on-ramp for the duration of the work
  • B Street on-ramp 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Pershing Drive on-ramp 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 19th Street on-ramp 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and
  • Sixth Street off-ramp for the duration of the work.

– City News Service