Why didn't Caltrans wait until summer to close lanes on Highway 50?

Q: Why couldn’t they wait until summer, or at least until the current semester at Sacramento State is over? This would mean less people on the road affected by the lane closures. – M. Smith, Elk Grove.

A: A lot of people are asking this question, given the amount of traffic on Highway 50. But Caltrans’ Jody Jones told us she talked with a number of local leaders who told her they did not want the closures to happen during the U.S. Track & Field Championships at Sacramento State, June 26 to 29. Or during Independence Day weekend, which is July 4 to 6. And especially not during the State Fair, with runs from July 11 to 27. Waiting until after that would mean the project would take place in August and September, when schools is starting up again.

Caltrans is putting the project on hold, though, during the Memorial Day weekend, when the annual Sacramento Music Festival and Jamboree takes place in Old Sacramento, and when many drivers are heading to and from Tahoe.

Caltrans did have another option: They could have chosen to do the project at nights and weekends only, which requires repeatedly closing down the work site, then setting it back up again. Caltrans officials said they decided that would take too long. They didn’t say how long, but based on what we’ve seen with other projects, we can guess a project like this could stretch for several years.

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