Major closures coming to Interstate 80 over a 7-week period

A monumental Bay Area road closure will intermittently take place starting Friday night. Drivers can expect a closure of part of Interstate 80 in Contra Costa County over a seven-week period. 

Plenty of partners are involved in this project, but Caltrans says its biggest and most important partner is the public. 

After this Friday night, the closures are scheduled every other weekend thereafter. Caltrans will be closing either the eastbound or westbound lanes of Interstate 80 in Contra Costa County near the Carquinez Bridge. That allows Caltrans to do major pavement replacement work on those crucial lanes. 

"We're able to completely shrink the construction schedule. We had over 109 nights of work that were going to need to happen that have been shrunk down to just these four weekends. It allows us to finish this project almost a year ahead of schedule," said Caltrans' Bart Ney.

Though only one traffic direction on I-80 will be worked on at a time, detours will be the only way to go. "We're lucky in this case that we have a lot of options for motorists to use," said Ney.

The three eastbound closures, every other weekend, the lanes will be closed from Friday at 9 a.m., until 5 a.m. Monday. The main detour will begin at State Highway 4 in Hercules, going to I-680, rejoining I-80 in Fairfield.

Drivers can use I-780 westbound to get to Benicia and Vallejo. Those wanting to go to Crockett can use the Cummings Skyway.

Some folks will be seriously disrupted. "It's news to me. You told me. I had no idea. So yeah, I find it quite absurd for sure," said Juan Carlos Cazarez whose family own Mazatlan Taqueria & Grill. Numerous businesses there will be cut off. "It will definitely affect us for a few days, especially knowing that our weekends are our busiest days." said Cazarez. 

The closures will result in a very smooth ride and last far, far longer. "There won't be joints. You won't be feeling that as you drive. Also, because they're not joints, the pavement will last a lot longer. So instead of coming back in 10 years we've got about 40 out of this job," said the Caltrans spokesman.

Then, come Labor Day weekend, westbound I-80 will be closed from Thursday at 9 p.m. until Tuesday, September 5 at I-780, the Curtola Parkway, at 5 a.m.

Why the holiday week? What about traffic? 

"Labor Day weekend is, historically one of the lowest for our region," said Ney.

Caltrans says future projects will concentrate on making the rest of I-80 much more passable and much more comfortable. But, that will take some time.  


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