Drivers see 45-minute delays during Sacramento I-80 lane closures

Caltrans says it will finish its Interstate 80 “Across the Top” project in north Sacramento by December.
Caltrans says it will finish its Interstate 80 “Across the Top” project in north Sacramento by December. Sacramento Bee file

Drivers westbound on Interstate 80 in north Sacramento on Saturday experienced 45-minute delays because of lane closures planned for the weekend, according to Deanna Shoopman, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

The closures are allowing crews to paint new striping over a 10-mile stretch of the freeway, beginning near the Sacramento River, to Longview Drive. The closures began at 10 p.m. Friday and shut down all but one westbound lane in the area. All offramps, onramps and connector ramps were closed at that time.

Extreme traffic delays starting just past West El Camino Avenue trailing to Watt Avenue were reported by Google Maps for westbound traffic Saturday afternoon.

Capital City Freeway drivers traveling toward Sacramento also experienced stop-and-go conditions as drivers took the alternate route, with traffic backed up from around the midtown area to past Watt Avenue on Saturday.

By 3 p.m. Saturday, project planners had completed the first phase of the project, Shoopman said. One express lane and two local lanes opened from westbound Northgate Boulevard to the Sacramento River, she said, with connector ramps to Interstate 5 also accessible to drivers.

Crews additionally opened one more westbound lane from Longview Drive to Northgate Boulevard, according to Shoopman, though offramps and onramps continued to remain closed in that area.

Construction is projected to last through noon Sunday, Shoopman said, adding that dry weather prevented any delays in the road work. Once completed, all westbound lanes in the area will be reopened, she said.

“Everything is looking real good, the weather is cooperating and we are very excited,” she said.

The work is part of a $133 million freeway widening under way since 2011. Caltrans expects the project to be completed in December.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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