Capital City Freeway Upgrade in the Works?

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SACRAMENTO—

When it comes to cars, ‘E’ usually stands for empty.

But if your commute sends you up to the Capital City Freeway in one east Sacramento neighborhood, ‘E’ as in E Street stands for anything but.

“It’s really bad … getting off of work and it’s going to take me awhile to get home,” said Adam Patterson.

Folks like Patterson hate that part of their routine.

“Always gets backed here, bottlenecks all the time,” said one driver in the queue at the ramp metering lights.

Drivers like her are excited Caltrans is working to shift their trips out of idle with plans to close the ramp and turn the saved space into another freeway lane.

“I think it would alleviate all this traffic right here and save me headache getting home,” said Patterson.

“From our preliminary studies, if we’re able to accomplish this, it will reduce traffic by ten percent in that area,” said Dennis Keaton, Caltrans District 3 spokesman.

Work on the proposed $6 million dollar fix wouldn’t start for about three years, but the debate is already underway.

Some in the neighborhoods surrounding the E Street on-ramp fear more congestion will be dumped on to their streets.

Others say at least fix some part of the problem, since they’re already suffering through surface congestion.

“Sometimes its 20-25 minutes,” said Raymond Gerena as he described how long he’s been blocked in his driveway by folks waiting to get on the on-ramp.

A block away from the ramp, John Pellen is able to watch fast moves at his son’s soccer practice. He’d like to see some faster moves during a Capital City Freeway commute.

“Anything they can do to eliminate the traffic is a good thing,” he said.

Caltrans’ plan to reduce traffic in the E Street area is only in the preliminary stages.

The agency will be working closely with the City of Sacramento to try and pin down a permanent solution.

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