A pipe bomb-type device that led to a three-hour closure of northbound Capital City Freeway on Monday was similar to a device discovered a month ago on a Highway 50 offramp, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Northbound Capital City Freeway and the Arden Way offramp reopened to traffic shortly after 6 p.m., after the cylinder device, similar to a pipe bomb, was detonated by a CHP bomb squad, said CHP spokesman Officer Chad Hertzell.
He said a California Department of Transportation work crew found the device at the Arden Way offramp from northbound Capital City Freeway about 3 p.m. The offramp and northbound freeway were closed to traffic shortly afterward.
Hertzell said the CHP bomb squad responded and called for additional equipment to render the device safe.
The device, he said, was similar to a pipe bomb found March 4 at the westbound Highway 50 offramp to Stockton Boulevard. That device was spotted by a Sacramento police officer.
Both the Arden Way and Stockton Boulevard offramps are heavily traveled. The Arden Way exit serves Arden Fair and the surrounding commercial area. The Stockton Boulevard offramp, near UC Davis Medical Center and Shriners Hospital for Children, is heavily used by emergency vehicles and hospital employees going to and from work.
“It’s definitely raised a lot of suspicions,” Hertzell said of the similarity between the two devices.
Investigation of both incidents, he said, has been turned over to the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Capital City Freeway closure came at the height of the afternoon commute and snarled traffic for nearly three hours. The CHP recommended that commuters take alternate routes via J Street and Fair Oaks Boulevard to northbound Watt Avenue. Those headed north from Highway 50 were advised to take Watt or Howe avenues, or northbound Interstate 5.
By 4:15 p.m., traffic was backed up for several miles from Cal Expo to south of downtown on Highway 99, according to the Sacbee.com traffic map.