Manny Crisostomo /

Crews work on the W-X freeway in Sacramento on Friday. Starting April 22, ramp and lane closures will delay motorists for all but one week through June 25.

Q&A: Freeway closures, delays, detours through June

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 8, 2014 - 7:54 am

The state Department of Transportation will close lanes on the W-X freeway for a $46 million road reconstruction project beginning April 22. Officials warn of significant delays as they resurface lanes between 19th and 24th streets until the project’s scheduled end date of June 25.

To help commuters navigate the closure, Bee transportation reporter Tony Bizjak and other Bee reporters are answering questions about the project. Submit your Fix50 questions here.

“I’ve lived in the Sacramento area for almost 15 years and have never heard of the W-X freeway. Please verify it is Highway 50 or Business 80 or both.” – Dave Quecke, Elk Grove

This freeway section probably has more names, official and unofficial, than any other road in the region. Its most common designation is Highway 50. That’s why Caltrans is calling this project Fix50. Caltrans also refers to that section as part of Business 80. (And even as Highway 99! But forget we mentioned that. Too confusing.) This section also is part of what local officials call the Capital City Freeway. Traffic reporters often call that section of freeway the W-X, because it runs between W and X streets.

“Will the significant delays extend into the weekend? That is, will the project work slow down traffic between 19th and 24th streets on weekends as well where you have to take detours?” – Anna Viana, Sacramento

Caltrans is warning drivers to expect up to an hour delay on weekdays during commute hours. But work will be ongoing 24 hours, seven days a week, between April 22 and June 25 (except for a respite during the Memorial Day weekend). Caltrans officials say they expect weekend delays, but haven’t estimated how extensive those delays will be. Keep in mind that only one side of the freeway will experience closures at a time. The eastbound lanes are slated for the first sets of closures, April 22 through May 21.

“What are the planned detour routes?” – Jo Pine, Gold River

Caltrans is not offering suggested detour routes. Instead, officials suggest you look over the planned lane closures on, making special note of the dates various closures will occur. Then, think about your routing options – such as other freeways or city streets – given your personal commute start and finish points. You may want to brave the freeway and hope the delay isn’t as bad as projected. You also could start your commute much earlier or later than the crowded 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. period, with similar adjustments for the drive home. Or, check your local agency’s bus and light-rail routes to see if transit works for you.

By the way, there will be times when the connector ramp to southbound Highway 99 will be closed, as will the ramps to and from eastbound Business 80. In those cases, Caltrans will have some suggested alternative routes that involve using the Howe Avenue/Power Inn Road eastbound exit ramps, and the Hornet Drive exit loop as a turn-around spot. It’s a bit complicated. We intend to publish a detailed description of when and how to use Hornet Drive as a U-turn, a week or two before those ramps close.

Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.

Read more articles by Tony Bizjak

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