‘It’s a lot all at once’: Stressed business owner braces for multi-day Highway 99 closure

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTKXL) — Beginning 8 p.m. Friday, Caltrans will shut down Highway 99 between 47th Avenue and Highway 50 to make much-needed repairs.

“That’s how I get to work every day pretty much,” said Jose “Rokky” Lopez, a tattoo artist at Rags2Richez Ink. “I have to take the streets all the way here just because there’s too much traffic on the freeway.”

Lopez’s business just so happens to be right next to the construction work Caltrans is doing at the 21st Avenue undercrossing.

“We’re closing on 99 from 47th Avenue, all the way down to the U.S. 50 connector,” said Angela DaPrato with Caltrans. “Business 80 at 99 will also be closed and U.S. 50 at 99 will be closed as well.”

After struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, Lopez said this is just another hit.

“It’s a lot all at once,” he told FOX40. “We just reopened and now we have to deal with this going on, it’s just a lot.”

Lopez said he’s left feeling stressed on how to bring in new clients during the four-day closure.

“Nobody knows that there’s businesses over here and if it’s closed, how are they supposed to get to us?” he asked.

Caltrans officials urge commuters to plan ahead and to avoid the open parts of Highway 99 as much as possible.

“We’re encouraging people to take I-5 as an alternative route, but also plan accordingly,” DaPrato explained. “There’s going to be a lot of people using I-5 as well.”

Caltrans said they’re using new technology to fix that 62-year-old bridge, a job that would normally take six months to a year to complete.

While Caltrans plans to fully reopen the roads by 4 a.m. on Wednesday, they said delays may happen depending on how the project goes throughout the weekend.

“Honestly, just have to go with it. There’s really nothing we can do, you know,” Lopez said. “I can try to get my clients to come later on in the week if it got to that point.”

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