Construction crews have begun demolishing the outside lanes of Interstate 80 in the eastbound direction through Natomas this week as part of a $133 million reconstruction and widening of the aging freeway, state highway officials said.
The demo work is being done at night with impact vibrators. Crews are carting the concrete and rebar away during the day, state Department of Transportation spokesman Dennis Keaton said. Keaton said the agency has gotten some complaints from nearby residents who say they can feel the vibrations.
Eastbound traffic is being redirected onto two sets of temporary lanes. Two interior lanes are being used as an expressway with no exits between West El Camino Avenue and Longview Drive. One or two outside lanes remain available for traffic that needs to use the on- and off-ramps through Natomas and north Sacramento. Those lanes remain congested, however, Caltrans reports.
“The afternoon (commute) is the worst part of it,” Keaton said. The two interior express lanes, however, have been flowing at maximum freeway speeds, set at 55 miles per hour during construction, he said.
The project involves adding new carpool lanes on both sides of the freeway, as well as two sets of auxiliary or merge lanes, one set between West El Camino and Interstate 5, the other between Northgate Boulevard and Norwood Avenue. The work also includes demolishing and replacing the freeway’s existing lanes.
The current demolition and rebuild process in the eastbound lanes will be replicated next year on the westbound said. Keaton said. He suggested commuters try using Highway 160 to avoid I-80 congestion.