Transportation

Traffic slow through I-80 construction zone in north Sacramento

East from the West El Camino overcrossing, construction workers grind up the original cement treated soil poured in the 1960's on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif. Caltrans has finished work on eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 through north Sacramento and this week started work on westbound lanes, which involves blocking some lanes and creating a temporary express lane.
East from the West El Camino overcrossing, construction workers grind up the original cement treated soil poured in the 1960's on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif. Caltrans has finished work on eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 through north Sacramento and this week started work on westbound lanes, which involves blocking some lanes and creating a temporary express lane. rpench@sacbee.com

Traffic congestion has been moderate to heavy on Interstate 80 in north Sacramento during the first week of partial westbound lane closures, highway officials said.

Caltrans on Sunday made major lane changes, including several new lane closures, as part of a five-year, $133 million expansion and overhaul of a 10-mile freeway section between Watt Avenue and West El Camino Avenue.

Officials say the far-right westbound lane has slowed to a stop at times, mainly during commute hours. At the same time, though, traffic on separate lanes – called express lanes – has been moving smoothly.

Caltrans officials say they are asking westbound drivers who don’t have to exit I-80 in north Sacramento to slide over to the express lanes before passing Watt Avenue.

Spokesman Dennis Keaton said that includes any westbound drivers on I-80 who are headed to Interstate 5, downtown Sacramento, the airport, or Yolo County and beyond.

“We have (warning) signs back as far as Citrus Heights about the merge, but we are still seeing people waiting for the last minute to get into that express lane,” Keaton said.

He warned drivers to watch for stop-and-go traffic. The project is expected to continue through next summer.

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