ROSEVILLE -- The usual traffic snarl at the Interstate 80/Highway 65 Interchange got a little worse Monday with the closing of the off-ramp at Galleria Boulevard.
Construction workers wasted no time getting to work when the Galleria Boulevard and Stanford Ranch Road off-ramp closed at 10 p.m. Sunday night. By Monday morning, there was nothing left of the pavement as heavy equipment turned the ground to make a wider and safer path off the highway, which will be controlled with a stop light.
Traffic was directed to the next exit at Pleasant Grove Boulevard, where drivers had to, essentially, make a loop to get back on the highway and use the southbound off-ramp.
County transportation officials offered an alternative route:
- Take the northbound Highway 65 exit to Pleasant Grove Boulevard.
- Turn left onto westbound Pleasant Grove.
- Take the freeway entrance to southbound Highway 65.
- Take the southbound Highway 65 Galleria Boulevard/Stanford Ranch Road exit.
Many workers at the Five Star car wash at the off-ramp were late for work and customers were also delayed. Even those who knew about the closure had to plan for delays and detours.
"It didn’t take me as long as thought it was going to, but it was OK. But what can you do?" said driver Karen Thomas.
Closing the ramp for five days will apparently make work go more quickly than a phased renovation.
The closure is part of a bigger project to add an additional lane to Highway 65 in order to accommodate the rapid growth in south Placer County.
"This is the orderly, planned development for south Placer County, where now we’re expanding that roadway within that right of way that was purchased way back in the '60s and '70s," said Mike Luken, the executive director of the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency.
Long-suffering drivers who have had to deal with frequent backups not only in the area but elsewhere in the state are hoping the current travel headaches will be worth it.
"It’s extremely difficult to widen freeways and it always causes problems," said motorist John Butcher. "I think you just have to put up with it until it’s done."
Construction workers are moving fast to try and get the off-ramp improvements finished by Thursday at 5 a.m.