Transportation

Pothole on I-5 damages more than 25 vehicles, stalls traffic during morning commute

This is the Aug. 30 pothole incident that caused a nightmare traffic jam on I-5 near Seamas Avenue

A pothole on I-5 near Richards Boulevard in Sacramento stalled morning commute traffic on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Another similar incident happened on Nov. 29, 2018 after wind and rain caused erosion damage,
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A pothole on I-5 near Richards Boulevard in Sacramento stalled morning commute traffic on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. Another similar incident happened on Nov. 29, 2018 after wind and rain caused erosion damage,

Interstate 5 in Sacramento will be reduced to two lanes over the Labor Day holiday weekend for emergency repairs as crews work to inspect the surface of the northbound lanes near Richards Boulevard, Caltrans said Thursday night.

The 59-hour round of closures is in addition to the emergency work planned at 11 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday after at least 26 cars were damaged by a large pothole during the morning commute.

The pothole and resulting debris were in the same area that caused similar backups and numerous flats Aug. 1 at Richards Boulevard, Young said.

CHP responded to the incident just before 6 a.m. when concrete from the two-foot-wide pothole was reported in the roadway, causing flats, shredding a tire of at least one car and damaging tires, front bumpers and undercarriages of dozens of other vehicles, Young said.

Thursday’s pothole was in lane No. 3, to the left of the slow lane, Young said. CHP mobilized a traffic break at about 6:30 a.m. to allow Caltrans to fill the pothole and clear debris. The traffic break lasted approximately three minutes, CHP said.

The commute, however, was snarled all morning by the problem, backing drivers along Interstate 5 past the city limits near Freeport, some 10 minutes away.

The slow lane (No. 4) remains closed for safety due to 26 affected cars being attended to on the shoulder.

Lanes on the freeway will be closed at different points from 11 p.m. on Friday to 4 a.m. Tuesday. Additionally, the I Street on-ramp to northbound I-5 will be closed for the duration of the repairs.

During the day, crews will close two inside, or fast, lanes. Nighttime work will close the right two lanes, as well as auxiliary lanes.

As an alternate route, Caltrans advises motorists to take the Capital City Freeway west over the Sacramento River to eastbound Interstate 80 in West Sacramento to reconnect with Interstate 5 just before San Juan Road.

Commuters on the Highway 50 corridor who deal with congested roads and skimpy rail service may see their commute get easier in a few years.



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