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Northbound I-5 reopens in Northern California through to the Oregon border

Traffic crews officially reopened all lanes of I-5 around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, just one day before Thanksgiving. Some people had been stranded for almost 24 hours.

Posted: Nov 26, 2019 10:06 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2019 3:47 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. --

UPDATE: I-5 northbound is back open between Redding and the Oregon border, according to Caltrans. The agency said that there are currently no chain requirements heading northbound.

With closures beginning below Dunsmuir around the same time on Tuesday afternoon, areas of the stretch of freeway north of Redding had been impassible for roughly 24 hours. During that time, hundreds of motorists were stranded by stuck and spun-out vehicles ahead of them.

"Caltrans warns of heavy traffic and delays so wait if possible until this long queue clears before hitting the road," ODOT said. "Expect heavy traffic into Oregon once this long line of traffic comes across later this afternoon into the evening."

The southbound lanes have been open since Wednesday morning, although chain requirements may still be in effect for certain areas. ODOT says to be prepared for winter driving conditions this coming weekend.

(Updated 11/27/19 at 3:10 p.m.)


UPDATE: I-5 northbound remains closed north of Redding, with Caltrans saying that it hopes to open the freeway again by sometime on Wednesday afternoon.

"Caltrans and California Highway Patrol Officers have been working non-stop to bring the highway to normal and safe conditions after dozens of spin-offs last night," the agency said.

Officers and road crews were still actively trying to clear the area near Castella in Shasta County, not far south of Dunsmuir, on Wednesday afternoon.

Caltrans said that the storm took many drivers by suprise in spite of repeated warnings. Others were stranded, despite being prepared, because of those unprepared drivers ahead of them.

"The most important message I can stress is that you must use your chains when directed to do so. Of all the trucks and vehicles that spun out nearly all did not put on their chains as they were required to do," said Don Anderson, deputy district director for Caltrans District 2.

(Updated 11/27/19 at 1:20 p.m.)


UPDATE: Chains are no longer required on I-5 southbound over the Siskiyou Summit, according to ODOT.

"Carry chains and be prepare to put them on in California," the agency said.

I-5 northbound remains closed and at a stand-still in areas north of Redding all the way to the Oregon border. NewsWatch 12 is watching for updates from Caltrans on this situation.

California Highway Patrol has said that police and traffic crews have been working to remove a number of crashed or stuck vehicles along the roadway while attempting to plow so waiting vehicles can get through.

(Updated 11/27/19 at 10 a.m.)


UPDATE: ODOT says Interstate 5 southbound at Ashland is open. Chains required all vehicles except 4x4s, unless towing. Expect slow-moving traffic and congestion until the back-up clears. Expect winter driving conditions. Caltrans reports northbound Interstate 5 is still closed north of Redding to Yreka.

(11/27/19 at 8 a.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Current conditions have forced ODOT to close Interstate 5 southbound into California at Ashland exit 11 tonight. 

Caltrans requested that ODOT close the area, due to the low visibility ad blizzard conditions between Yreka and Mt. Shasta. 

ODOT plans to reevaluate throughout the night into tomorrow. 

Click here for other traffic alerts: 

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