Bumpy I-5 over the Grapevine worries motorists

Bumpy I-5 over the Grapevine worries motorists »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Interstate 5 is no doubt one of the busiest sections of road in the state. So why is it in such bad shape? We asked the California Department of Transportation for answers.

The road over the Grapevine has come a long way since the days drivers braved the Old Ridge Route. But some people say, these days, conditions on I-5 can be almost as rough. A while back, Caltrans ground down the concrete, preparing the road for repairs. Caltrans said the road is safe for travel, but the bumps make drivers nervous.

"You have to hold the wheel one handed, you are being bounced around it's very bumpy," said driver Rachel Bustos. With a steep grade and curves, the interstate near Frazier Park can be a challenge for cars and especially trucks. When you add the current road conditions, truckers say the highway can be a financial burnout.

Trucker Jose Florez told Eyewitness News, "We need to put a lot of money on the maintenance on our trucks, cause the highway is pretty bad."

Thousands of drivers travel down the section of I-5 at the north end of the Grapevine everyday. It's actually one of the most highly traveled highways in the state. So we asked Caltrans why the road hasn't been fixed in months.

"We're fixing it, really as much as we can, when we can. Our maintenance crews do a great job of patching pot holes and water proofing cracks. Again, whenever we receive funding we apply it as fast as we can," said Jose Camarena of Caltrans.

Camarena said the agency isn't neglecting the section of I-5. In fact, workers are in the middle of a major project repairing the truck lane and shoulder in south bound lanes near Lebec. But it seems for now I-5 north will have to wait. Camarena says they will get to work on the northbound lanes in spring of 2012.