El Dorado County officials will close a mile of Highway 50 during the next three Sundays while crews blast rock at the Silva Valley Parkway interchange project.
The closures will take place in the early morning hours. The freeway is expected to be reopened each Sunday by 8:30 a.m.
Workers at the new interchange construction site have run into a large amount of rock just beneath the surface that needs to be removed to make room for interchange column supports, project officials said. The Transportation Division of El Dorado Countys Community Development Agency is overseeing the project.
Crews initially tried jackhammers and excavators, then closed the freeway several weeks ago on a Sunday morning to blast the rock. But, after further sub-surface exploration, officials discovered that the rock formation is much larger than thought, and more needs to be removed for other ramp supports.
We can only determine the limits of blasting as the excavations progress, said Aradhana Kochar, county engineer for the interchange project. It is certainly possible that we will need to blast at other locations beyond those previously described. We just won't have that answer until we open up more area on the project.
Under terms of the construction agreement, blasting can be done only on Sunday mornings. Workers will put a rubber blast mat over the rock to mute the explosion and keep rock shards from flying onto the freeway.
Officials said they plan to close the freeway from 5 to 8:30 a.m. this Sunday, as well as on May 11 and May 18.
The closure will run from El Dorado Hills Boulevard on the west to Bass Lake Road on the east.
Traffic will be diverted during the closures via El Dorado Hills Boulevard, Serrano Parkway and Bass Lake Road.
County officials are asking motorists to take other detours as well.
The $30 million project is scheduled to be finished in September 2015.
Call The Bees Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059.