Back-Seat Driver

Resurfaced freeway pavement cracking on Pioneer Bridge

The Pioneer Bridge across the Sacramento River has developed cracks in its resurfaced roadway.
The Pioneer Bridge across the Sacramento River has developed cracks in its resurfaced roadway. Sacramento Bee file

Caltrans’ recent $26 million resurfacing job on the Pioneer Bridge is cracking. Several portions of new overlay on Highway 50 over the Sacramento River surface cracked a few weeks ago, and officials are not sure why.

Caltrans spokesman Dennis Keaton says the contractor, Myers & Sons, has put in temporary patches and will send crews to figure out what happened. Keaton said a brief rain fell after the three-quarter-inch material was put down, but it’s uncertain if that was a factor.

For now, the cracks are limited to a few sections and do not appear to be spreading. But it is disconcerting. The state spent millions to have the bridge and surrounding freeways and ramp surfaces rehabilitated last year. Keaton said repairs are likely in the next few months, but he said he couldn’t guess what it would cost, or who pays.

Until then, he said, “It’s safe to travel on.”

I-80 warning

Caltrans officials warn there may be significant delays on eastbound Interstate 80 in Natomas and North Sacramento this weekend due to construction-related lane closures. Closures start this evening and continue through early Monday. Signboards are up on freeways to warn drivers. Highway officials suggest eastbound drivers consider using the Capital City Freeway instead.

But the Cap City Freeway itself gets clogged on weekends near the American River. If you have time, check out this map website – – to get a real-time look at freeway traffic.

Davis red light cameras

The city of Davis has joined a growing list of cities that have stopped using red light cameras. Davis once had cameras at four intersections. In October, the city shut down the last two, one at First and E streets, the other at Russell Boulevard and Sycamore Lane.

The Davis camera technology was old and needed replacing. Officials did not want to pay the costs, said Assistant Police Chief Darren Pytel. Also, red light violations at those intersections had dropped considerably since the cameras were installed.

But there was a hassle factor, too: A lot of drivers nabbed by the cameras challenged their citations, Pytel said, demanding camera-related documents from the city and using up staff time.

Light rail faster?

Sacramento Regional Transit plans to open its new south-line light-rail extension to Cosumnes River College in early September. But RT is ahead of its construction schedule. And since college students head back to school on Aug. 22, some at RT are saying they would like the trains to be up and running then.

College officials are eager. “With light rail coming, we anticipate more residents will be taking advantage of this additional gateway for educational opportunities,” spokeswoman Kristie West said. “This has been part of the college’s strategic plan for years – to provide access to public transit routes to give students more options to reach their educational goals.”