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Northbound I-5 To Finally Reopen At Midnight

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS SF) -- Caltrans has some good news and bad news for travelers concerning the massive sinkhole that has closed a stretch of the I-5 freeway near Tracy.

Officials said the northbound lanes on I-5 were tentatively scheduled to reopen at 12:00 a.m. on Friday while the southbound lanes would remain closed until noon on Sunday.

Currently drivers on the main traffic artery through Central California has been forced to make a six-mile detour and drivers were experiencing 15 to 30 minute delays.

Officials said the paving of the two northbound lanes and adjacent shoulders was scheduled to begin Friday afternoon. After that is completed, southbound I-5 will be excavated and the foundation for the roadway will be rebuilt. Those two lanes and shoulders will also then be paved and inspected.

But Mother Nature may also raise havoc with the aggressive schedule to get the freeway reopened.

Temperatures were forecasted in the area to top 100 degrees this weekend, including a projected high of 104 degree on Friday. The triple digit heat will slow the paving process.

Workers are currently applying 18 inches of asphalt-concrete to returning the damaged highway to its previous height.

Asphalt-concrete is a viscous material that must be allowed to cool, officials said, so it can properly set for safety.

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