It's the first morning commute of the final phase of the Fix 50 project on Highway 50 in Downtown Sacramento.
That means new lane closures, of the outside westbound lanes, while traffic is moving through on the inside lanes. The westbound 50 16th Street offramp is closed and the westbound 50 connector from the Capital City Freeway is closed with only one lane available on the connector ramp from Highway 99 north to 50 west.
Another, separate bridge deck project will affect westbound 50 traffic in the area of Northbound I-5 this weekend. There's a closure scheduled for the inside lanes of Northbound I-5 between L Street and Richards Boulevard.
It will last from Friday at 10 p.m. until Monday at 5 a.m. There will be ongoing night and weekend closures through August.
CapRadio's Bob Moffitt is covering the commute live.
Steve Milne: Are things still moving pretty well?
Bob Moffitt: Yea, probably better than they have all morning. Traffic is not slowing at all until they hit the construction zone. And that seems to be moving pretty smoothly. Construction workers are demolishing the top part of the slab on the freeway, and then preparing to support the underground work. They're going to add another four inches of concrete on top and they'll be done with this within a week and a half or so.
I drove all over the city and I traffic was pretty good this morning. I-80 was probably the worst traffic all morning.
Steve Milne: How's it looking out there?
Bob Moffitt: It's looking really good all over the place except right in the middle of the construction zone. Although that is much better than yesterday it went from two lanes to three. There is some slowing on I-80 across the top of town as well, starting at Norwood. But that's always been a problem.
Really, Cap City freeway westbound looks pretty good. Westbound 50 looks much better than it did. The only real problem that you have is if you're trying to get from westbound Cap City to westbound 50, in which case you have to get off earlier and go through town or go past and flip around and take the connector that is open, which is northbound 99 to get to westbound 50.
Milne: Is Caltrans worried over the weekend when people may not know about the construction.
Moffitt: About a month ago, when the Sacramento Republic FC game happened, there was a serious problem with backup...
They're expecting another sellout this Saturday, that could be something they might be worried about.
Steve Milne: Bob is at the 34th Street exit, how’s traffic moving right now?
Bob Moffitt: Traffic is moving pretty well right now. It had started to slow down about half an hour ago back all the way before the 34th street offramp but has since sped up a bit. Now you only see brake lights when you approach the actual construction site. As far as westbound Cap City goes, that’s still moving pretty well. And there’s no offramp there to get to westbound 50. If you’re coming off Cap City and you need to get into westbound 50, either get off earlier and come around W Street or get in later around 10th Street or 12th Street and turn around. Or, even get into eastbound 50, go up to Stockton Boulevard and turn around and come back. Traffic going that way is pretty light.
Milne: Why do you think it’s going so well?
Moffitt: Well you go from two lanes to three and that increases your capacity by a third. It’s working really well. You’re seeing a repeat of what you saw when Caltrans opened the eastbound side. Really, the people that are being convenience are those that would take westbound Cap City and those people can go across town taking 80 or even go through to 160 and get off Richards and get around that way.
Steve Milne: Where are you exactly and how’s it looking?
Bob Moffitt: I’m at the corner of 12th and W and it looks a lot better. You can expect that when you go from two lanes to three, which is what happened last night.
The only problem that you’re going to have is if you’re going through Sacramento, westbound Cap City and you want to go westbound 50. Well, there’s a no-go. There’s a bunch of cones there and there’s a police officer there with a smiling face, rather you go somewhere else. What you need to do is continue to 99 and get off 12th or Fruitridge and turn around and come back. Because the westbound offramp there off of northbound 99, there is a lane open and that was pretty easy sailing this morning. You can also get off eastbound 50 and go down 34th or 65th or Howe and turn around there and go back, similar to what you had to do when the connecting ramp was closed on the eastbound side of U.S. Highway 50.
Milne: How does this phase of the project compare to the previous one? Quiet
Moffitt: It’s a lot better traffic-wise. Traffic is going really smoothly. Compared to when there were only two lanes, we had traffic backed up all the way between 34th and 59th at this time of the morning and pretty much continuously throughout the day, this looks quite a bit better, the only problem is if you’re trying to come off of Cap City to try to get into westbound 50, you’re going to have to do a little workaround.
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