Construction slowdowns continue
Summer is the season of road construction, and this year has been no exception in Truckee. With four projects on I-80 and one on the old Highway 267, construction workers have been busy rebuilding, resurfacing and putting the finishing touches to many undertakings ongoing for the last couple years.
“I’d say we really impacted local residents this year, and we certainly appreciate their patience,” said Mark Dinger, a spokesperson for CALtrans.
Crews try to keep lanes open on weekends starting Friday, but during the week, drivers can expect delays of at least 30 minutes. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the days when traffic is slowest. With semis being one-third of the traffic, in addition to construction equipment, “it can make for some tough driving through there,” he said.
“It’s an extremely hard place to work…there’s just no detours available,” Dinger said.
He recommends drivers slow down through work zones, watch out for other drivers in zones and plan trips with delays.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve the traffic through there,” Dinger said. “It’s been a learning process for sure.”
Road construction will continue through November and begin again in May.
Resurfacing from the Nevada state line
Since late last fall, construction crews have been resurfacing I-80 from the Nevada state line to just east of Floriston. For the $5.5 million dollar project, crews used rubberized asphalt made from recycled tires. They hope to be done in about four weeks. The paving portion is complete, and now they are putting in stripes, guardrails and raising drains.
“That was essentially to repair and resurface some damaged slabs we had right when you come into California,” said Dinger. “It’s really made a big improvement.”
Boca Floriston Project
From west of Boca to Floriston, 11 miles of I-80 are being rebuilt, including six bridges, a new median barrier and a retaining wall. It is one of the most difficult projects because of its location, Dinger said. The $86 million project started in the summer of 2000, and crews hope to compete it by the winter of 2004. New pavement and ramps at Hirschdale will soon be ready for traffic, but from Aug. 14-Oct. 30, ramps to and from westbound I-80 at Floriston will be closed for rebuilding.
In central Truckee, construction on a new median barrier and Trout Creek Bridge on I-80 should be done in late fall. It’s a $7.7 million contract that began last spring. While there are period lane closures, Dinger doesn’t anticipate any big delays.
Although the bypass is largely completed, crews are rebuilding the onramp from Donner Pass road to west bound I-80 (set to open on Aug. 29) and the ramp from eastbound I-80 to the Donner exit. The entire project began in 1999, costing $33.7 million dollars, and will be finished in the fall.
Crews started in May with the resurfacing of the old Highway 267 between Joerger Drive and I-80. While they are paving and making drainage improvements, totaling $687 thousand, there is a detour around the railroad tracks. Drivers can expect delays of 15-10 minutes throughout the week. After the project is completed, the state will relinquish the old highway to the town of Truckee as a city street.
The Boca Floriston Project, Trout Creek Project and part of the Truckee Bypass project are a part of an effort to rebuild I-80 from Roseville to the Nevada Sate line. The resurfacing from the Nevada state line is an interim solution for the next five years until more funds are available to begin rebuilding. The entire project began in 1998 and covers 90 miles of the interstate, which has essentially seen no improvements since it was built in the late ’50s or early ’60s.
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