SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – One full day has passed since Caltrans shut down a large section of a major Sacramento highway to fix an aging bridge.
Highway 99 normally sees about 100,000 cars per day, but the lanes were empty Saturday.
“They’re basically demoing the bridge deck so we can replace it,” explained Caltran’s Angela DaPrato.
Caltrans crews have officially started working to replace the 62-year-old bridge and are working as quickly as possible to have Highway 99 reopened by Wednesday morning.
“Crews actually started doing demolition early, early this morning. As you can see, they’ve made a lot of progress,” DaPrato said.
The $5.9 million project is funded by Senate Bill 1 that was passed in 2017.
Caltrans crews started phase one of a four-day project that would close Highway 99 from 47th avenue all the way down to the Highway 50 connector.
Saturday’s work was focused on demolition, breaking up the pavement and bridge in small sections.
“Right now, it’s going as expected. We’re doing the demolition work. As you can see, there’s a lot of ridges in the cement because they’re getting in there properly, doing it safely,” DaPrato explained.
DaPrato says there are 25 workers during each 18-hour shift along with machine operators with the goal to finish the project as soon as possible.
Caltrans says the project would normally take six months to a year to complete.
“It’s a lot of hard work. A lot of getting in there grinding, making sure everyone is safe and doing the proper protocol,” DaPrato said.
As expected, traffic quickly started to build up as the California Highway Patrol worked to divert people off the freeway.
Caltrans encourages people to find alternative routes as the project continues for the next few days.
“Our goal is to get in and get out, so we apologize for the inconvenience, but we are doing our best to do this project in a very quick manner,” DaPrato said.
Heavy traffic is expected on Interstate 5 and Highway 50 as the construction moves into Monday and Tuesday.
To help with the work commute, the light rail will be free during the entire duration of this project.