State highway officials are warning of major traffic delays on Interstate 80 in northern Sacramento this weekend due to construction lane closures.
Caltrans officials will close two of the three westbound freeway lanes as well as the westbound ramps onto I-80 from Interstate 5 in Natomas.
The closures will start on Friday at 6 p.m. and last until Monday at 5 a.m.
Caltrans officials held a news conference Wednesday to warn drivers to expect up to 45 minute delays on that stretch of freeway, and asked drivers to avoid the westbound lanes through northern Sacramento if possible this weekend.
One lane on westbound I-80 will remain open throughout the weekend, Caltrans said. That lane will be the temporary construction-period “express lane,” which sits between two concrete barriers, separated from the other westbound lanes. The two other “local” westbound lanes, however, will be closed west of the Truxel Road interchange to a point just west of the West El Camino Avenue interchange.
Ramp closures also will be in effect on I-5, prohibiting drivers on that freeway from transitioning to westbound I-80.
Officials said the closure will allow crews to remove and replace 1,300 feet of the two freeway lanes. That lane work will be finished and reopened for the Monday morning commute.
Caltrans officials said this will be the final major lane closure for its “Across the Top” freeway rebuilding project.
The massive $133 million project is now in its fifth year. It involves removing and replacing 10 miles of freeway between Watt Avenue on the east and the Sacramento River on the west, and construction of new high-occupancy or carpool lanes in each direction.
Officials on Wednesday said the work is 95 percent complete, and is scheduled to be finished in mid-November.
“This is the final push,” said Amarjeet Benipal, head of the Caltrans District 3 office.
Caltrans officials have set up suggested detours for drivers coming from the Placer County area, as well as from the Marysville/Yuba City direction.
Drivers on westbound I-80 from Placer, headed toward the Bay Area, are asked to reroute to Business 80, the Capital City Freeway.
The connecting ramps from westbound I-80 to I-5, both northbound toward Sacramento International Airport, will be open, as will the connector to southbound I-5.
Those headed to the airport, however, can avoid that area by exiting I-80 to northbound Elkhorn Boulevard, then taking southbound Highway 99 to I-5. Those drivers also can make their way to the airport by exiting at Norwood Avenue, Northgate Boulevard, or Truxel Road, and using surface streets to get to Del Paso Road, and on to I-5 northbound.
Drivers from Marysville headed west to Yolo and Bay Area counties are asked to take Highway 99 south to I-5 north to Highway 113 south in Woodland.
The weekend closures are liable to cause slowdowns on some surrounding freeways as well, Caltrans officials said. The Highway 50/Interstate 5 interchange in downtown Sacramento will likely see heavier-than-normal traffic through the weekend, Caltrans official Kome Ajise said.
Caltrans will close the P Street onramp to southbound I-5 in downtown Sacramento to reduce expected congestion on the I-5 mainline merge lanes to Highway 50, which are a frequent backup spot during peak hours.
All lanes on eastbound I-80 in northern Sacramento will remain open during the weekend, and all access ramps in that direction from streets and freeways will remain open.
For more details on the closure, go to Caltrans’ project website at: 80acrossthetop.com.