I-80 highway shutdown poses challenge for Labor Day travelers

Packed planes and crowded roads are expected for travelers heading out for the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Bay Area travelers are facing an extra challenge this year, with a major highway shutdown lasting through Tuesday morning.

Caltrans District workers closed the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 between Vallejo and Hercules at 9 p.m. Thursday for a repaving project that will stretch three miles south of the Carquinez Bridge.

"Completely re-doing all of the lanes of I-80 from Crockett to Hercules," said Bart Ney, a Caltrans spokesperson. "You can go eastbound out of the Bay Area no problem. It's westbound coming into the Bay Area that's going to be closed. We're going to be ripping up and replacing over 3 miles of pavement."

The closure that could cause confusion for drivers coming on the Labor Day holiday weekend.

"We're going up to Lake Berryessa, going to have a little barbecue up there," said Ikela Boatwright of Hercules, "It is a little bit of an inconvenience but that just means you need to leave a little early to get where you need to go."

Caltrans says the highway will be closed through Tuesday morning with cars being diverted to the Benicia Bridge.

SFO has posted alerts on the airport website.

"We want to make sure people see that information, especially people who are driving to SFO we want that to be front and center so they're factoring that into their travel time," said Doug Yakel, an SFO spokesperson.


Westbound I-80 closure begins Thursday night, reroutes to last through Tuesday

Starting 9 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Tuesday, Interstate 80 west will be completely closed for much needed repaving, making it a much smoother ride. The repair is expected to last as much as 40 years.

Yakel says that's important because they're expecting a huge volume of passengers.

"We think this holiday weekend that will bring us closer to pre-pandemic volumes than we've ever seen before," said Yakel, "590,000 people in and out of SFO, that's about 93% of what we saw Labor Day weekend of 2019."

"For the weekend I'm actually headed to Las Vegas just for a couple days of vacation," said Eli Dow, an airline passenger from New York State.

"Airport has been busy, planes have been packed," said Jay Cruz, an airline passenger from Boston, "People, long lines and everything but that's normal. The holidays."

"I'm going to surf for 72 hours straight. Yeah, that's the plan," said Neil Jones, an airline passenger from San Diego.

AAA agents say they are seeing an increase in travelers this year.

"A 4% increase in travelers from last year and 44% for international travel," said John Treanor, the AAA Northern California Spokesman.

Not even fuel prices are putting the brakes on this year's holiday travel.

"It's $5.29 statewide in California right now. $5.26 a week ago," said Treanor.