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Adjusted Freeway Repair Plan Eases ‘Carmageddon’ Headache

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The spot where Highway 99, Interstate 50 and Interstate 80 all converge in Sacramento, running parallel with W and X streets, creates a traffic nightmare on a good day.

It’s also the spot now slated for two months of even bigger slow downs because of a massive freeway fix-up.

“We’re having to repair the bridge deck. The bridge deck is cracked all the way through, so what that entails is widening the inside and the outside shoulders as part of the project,” Caltrans District 3 spokesperson Dennis Keaton said.

That’s the why, but that “why” brought worry to emergency crews who’s response  time is built around traffic peaks and lulls.

“Four minutes is the fire department standard,” Assistant Sacramento City Fire Chief Niko King said.

No way to maintain that under Caltrans’ original plan which called for six out of ten lanes between 18th and 24th streets to be closed during construction.

Intense negotiations with the city early this week have now re-tooled the plan to keep only four lanes closed.

“We feel really good about the changes that have been made,” King said.

The changes may also be better for X Street homeowners like Richard Harvey.

They’re not looking forward to an overflow of drivers hitting surface streets as they try to dodge the newest highway time hurdle.

“Absolutely not, but it’ something that needs to be done, so I think it’s a good thing that they’re doing it,” Harvey said.

The new W/X Freeway plan also moves the construction start date up two weeks to April 22.

The changes are so new, Caltrans has yet to be able to determine if the adjustments will up its $46 million  price tag.

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