(Yes, Caltrans is suggesting commuters “continue to use the freeway system” if they can. They are doing that partly so that they don’t unnecessarily encourage everyone to flood surface streets, causing headaches for residents and city and county officials. But they also are warning that if everyone commutes just like they usually do on the freeway, delays could last more than an hour!)
So, how do you make a route decision if you don’t know how bad the back-up is going to be on Highway 50 (or, for that matter, on Highway 99 or Interstate 5 as they head toward 50) or whether your chosen alternate route is jammed as well?
Whatever you do, expect a mess, and expect to be delayed. Also, don’t be afraid if a route that works on day one is suddenly congested on day two. Or, the opposite. Pay attention to TV and online traffic reports – and www.fix50.com – before you leave the house the first few mornings, and before you leave work those afternoons. Remember, only one side of the freeway will be worked on at a time. The other side should be pretty much OK.