UPDATE: I-5 To Remain Closed Over Weekend, Expect Major Delays

Any travelers heading north are strongly encouraged to delay their plans as there’s just no good news in terms of detours. Denise Yergenson, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation, said Friday the wildfire that shut down Interstate 5 on Wednesday was still burning out of control along the highway. I-5 will remain closed through Sunday. Officials on Sunday will reevaluate whether to reopen the highway that traverses the entire West Coast from Mexico to Canada. The alternate route up Highways 299 and 89 has been extremely problematic. Both directions of Highway 299 were completely blocked just west of Round Mountain for a while Thursday due to a head-on collision between a big rig and a passenger car. The tractor -trailer jackknifed across the highway and all traffic was stopped. Traffic quickly backed-up all the way to Old Oregon Trail. That crash was followed by a never-ending series of collisions, some of them apparently prompted by road rage between impatient travelers unaccustomed to the windy mountain roads. Cal-Trans estimates the time of that route to be 3 hours. Taking Highway 89 all the way to Highway 44 is estimated to shave an hour off that time. The other option is to take 299 to Canby, then Highway 139 to Highway 161 through Dorris, and Southbound 97 to Weed and I-5. That’s estimated to be a 5 hour trip. Conditions can be checked at the Cal-Trans District 2 Facebook Page.

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