Caltrans has agreed to reimburse the city of Sacramento up to $1.3 million for costs the city will incur managing congestion on city streets during the state’s Fix Highway 50 project, city officials said.
City traffic managers say the money will be needed: They expect severe congestion on key streets and intersections near the W-X section of Highway 50 when Caltrans closes freeway lanes and ramps for rehabilitation work.
Caltrans also plans to reimburse West Sacramento, Sacramento Regional Transit and other agencies for costs those entities incur during the freeway lane closures, which are scheduled to occur between April 22 and June 25.
Caltrans officials say traffic could be delayed on Highway 50 and nearby freeways for up to an hour during the construction period. Officials say they expect many commuters will choose to exit the freeways early and head to work on surface streets. For information on the timing of lane and ramp closures, go to www.Fix50.com.
Sacramento city officials say they plan to bulk up police presence to direct traffic at congested intersections. City officials also will have temporary stripes painted on some streets to add lanes and turn pockets at places they expect to be crowded. The city will add some cameras at key intersections to allow engineers to alter signal timing on the fly at crowded intersections.
Sacramento has set up its own information website for the Fix50 project at http://portal.cityofsacramento.org/Fix50.
“I think the area as a whole is going to see significant congestion,” city traffic official Hector Barron said. “On local streets, we’ll see congestion (hot spots).” He said those spots will change weekly as Caltrans workers close and reopen lanes or ramps.
Barron said the city is drawing up a list of expected trouble areas. One of those, he said, will be the 26th Street exit from westbound Highway 50 onto W Street. Commuters are expected to flood that exit when Caltrans closes the 16th Street offramp. To ease their passage, the city may paint temporary stripes to turn that lane into two lanes as it enters W Street.
Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.