Pioneer Bridge repair squeezes traffic over the next six weekends
If you use Highway 50 this weekend, expect to sit in traffic for up to an hour in downtown Sacramento due to extensive lane and ramp closures – coupled with increased traffic to baseball games and concerts in the area.
That’s the latest warning from state highway officials as Caltrans continues a $26 million resurfacing project on the Pioneer Memorial Bridge that spans the Sacramento River, carrying Highway 50 between Sacramento and West Sacramento.
Caltrans officials say they plan to close all but one freeway lane in each direction on the bridge, and will close numerous connector ramps at the Highway 50 and Interstate 5 interchange.
The closures will be similar to construction closures that have occurred at the site the past three weekends. But officials say the back-ups likely will be worse this weekend because the River Cats will be playing at Raley Field in West Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Golden 1 Center is hosting a Kendrick Lamar concert as well on Sunday.
“It is going to be more intense,” Caltrans spokeswoman Deanna Shoopman said. “We are telling people to expect an extra hour to your travel time.”
The closures start tonight at 8 p.m. and will last continuously until Monday morning at 6 a.m. when all lanes will be open for the morning commute.
The pavement project already has caused numerous lengthy back-ups in the downtown area, some stretching as far back as Highway 99, in past weekends.
Shoopman said state officials have avoided doing any work on the mile-long project during weekday work hours so they do not disrupt commuters. But that has meant extensive night and weekend closures.
Shoopman said the state is closing multiple lanes at once during weekends in order to speed the project along so it concludes before the Labor Day weekend in September.
“This is the least impact that we can come up with to get the project done in a short amount of time, versus impacting day work Monday through Friday,” Shoopman said. “We don’t really want to affect the daily commute.”
Caltrans will post detour signs on freeways this weekend and advise anyone driving through the area to review information on the project website at www.pioneerbridgeproject.com.