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Traffic Slowed by I-5 Lane Shift in Stockton

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Traffic was bumper to bumper Thursday morning along Interstate 5 in Stockton, for the first day of a six-month lane shift.

As more commuters drove through the city, Caltrans crews were just getting started.

“Basically, we are taking out the old concrete and putting in new concrete and reinforcing it,” Caltrans spokesperson Angela DaPrato said.

From Country Club Boulevard to Fremont Street, that portion of the I-5 face-lift meant Caltrans will shift the southbound left and middle lanes into northbound I-5.

Those who need to get off on Country Club Boulevard, Mount Diablo Avenue or Pershing Avenue need to stay to their far right lane.

While commuters did not care for the traffic, they say the project is long overdue.

“Anytime the roads can be improved for safety issues, I think it is really important,” driver Steve Graham said.

More than 143,000 drivers cross that portion of the freeway daily.

They say even with all the orange construction signs, the changes are confusing.

“Even myself, as a person that is on the road a lot, when they change something up, I am really not aware of the change,” driver Steve Graham said. “It is a little scary.”

Caltrans has reduced speeds through the construction site to 55 miles per hour.

Phase three is expected to take six months.

The $46 million rehabilitation project is expected to wrap up by 2016.