The Fix50 phase four lane closures on the westbound lanes of Highway 50 downtown were fully in place Friday morning, with freeway work going fulling bore. Concrete dust was being kicked up into the open lanes, though traffic in the early hours of the commute was light.
Caltrans officials said the latest closures are likely to be the most intrusive. The three right lanes of the freeway are now blocked. The construction cones begin narrowing traffic at Stockton Boulevard, and the construction zone continues past 16th Street, blocking that exit.
The two connector ramp lanes from westbound Business 80 to westbound 50 are also closed, as is one of the two connector ramp lanes from Highway 99 to westbound 50.
Caltrans officials are asking drivers to try to avoid the area, if possible. Backups are expected however.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"Expect congestion," Caltrans spokesman Dennis Keaton said. "We've always said the westbound closures are a whole different animal."
The previous set of closures on the westbound side caused backups as far as Watt Avenue during both the morning and evening commutes, and caused congestion on numerous surface streets near the freeways.
Because of the 16th Street offramp closure, officials are urging motorists to use the 26th Street offramp instead.
Caltrans suggests that motorists on Business 80 who want to head west on Highway 50 through the project area take a detour to eastbound Highway 50 instead. Motorists should then take the Howe-Power Inn exit, staying in the right-hand lane to use the Sacramento State loop exit, which is before Howe-Power Inn roads. The loop takes motorists to Hornet Drive, where drivers can turn left onto westbound Highway 50 and proceed through the Fix50 project.
Work on the last leg of the $46 million project, which is being done by the construction firm Myers & Sons, is scheduled to be finished in 15 days, a mark that if hit would bring it in ahead of the projected June 25 end date.
•Click here for more Fix50 coverage and updates.