The portion of Interstate 80 that travels through Solano County is getting some much-needed attention.
The project, known as Pave 80, consists of replacing failed pavement areas, providing new asphalt concrete surface, and upgrading the median barrier at various points along I-80 between Vacaville and Vallejo.
“The 27-mile stretch has not been redone in over 50 years, so we’re giving it a facelift,” Caltrans spokesperson Marcus Wagner said.
The Pave 80 project was started in January and the main portion of work is expected to be complete by December 2009. Construction will continue on other smaller projects until 2013.
The total cost of the project is about $136 million, Wagner said.
According to pave80.com, Caltrans‘ official website for the project, the work will be divided into 12 smaller projects that are spread out over the course of the project’s time span. Construction is primarily scheduled for evenings between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Although it will provide new driving surfaces in many areas, the project will create only one change in the mapping of lanes. Caltrans will add a carpool lane between Fairfield and Cordelia, Wagner said.
Drivers should be advised that the number four lane will be closed between Davis Street to the North Texas Street interchange to allow for work to be done until Friday of this week.
Roughly 150,000 drivers use this portion of I-80 on a daily basis, according to Caltrans, and many of those drivers are UC Davis students traveling home to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Malia Dudum, a sophomore UC Davis biology major, frequently travels home to San Francisco to visit her family. On Saturday she set out from Davis some time after 9 p.m., and ran into congestion at one of the construction sites.
“Even when I’m driving later at night there’s a lot more congestion than there would be. I would say it adds time to my trip,” Dudum said. “I got home half an hour later than usual Saturday night.“
As she was returning to Davis around midnight Sunday, she noticed a crash had occurred.
“A car went through the cones and into the center divider,” Dudum said.
While it did not look like a terrible accident, Dudum said she is more cautious than usual on the drive between Davis and the San Francisco Bay Area.
For more information on the pavement rehabilitation project, including when particular parts of the freeway are closed, go to pave80.com.
ALI EDNEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.