Caltrans began closing lanes on Highway 50 around 9 p.m. tonight as workers prepared a key downtown freeway for rehabilitation – and commuters prepared for delays.
The Fix50 project will occur in four stages on the W-X elevated freeway between now and June 25. Work starts with a two-week closure of three eastbound interior lanes between 18th and 24th streets, as well as the 11th Street onramp to Highway 50.
Caltrans posted shortly after 9 p.m. on Twitter that it had begun closing lanes for the Fix 50 project. By 9:45 p.m., the transition ramp from southbound Highway 5 to eastbound Highway 50 grew thick with cars, prompting drivers to exit onto X Street, the road parallel to the road closure. But traffic began to thin out shortly thereafter.
Through the rehabilitation work, Caltrans is trying to ensure the elevated 48-year-old section of Highway 50 retains its vitality as a key connector between Sacramento’s major freeways. Contractor C.C. Myers and his workers will grind down the surface a half-inch and then lay a series of 4-inch-thick concrete slabs on top. They will widen the median and outside shoulders by 2.5 feet each.
After the first two-week phase, Caltrans will open the interior eastbound lanes and close the two exterior lanes, as well as the 16th Street onramp and transition ramps leading to other freeways.
Caltrans will completely open both sides of Highway 50 from May 22 to May 26. Crews will then begin work on the westbound lanes of the W-X freeway in two phases similar to their efforts on the eastbound side.