Monday, Aug. 12, 2013
Steer Clear of DARmageddon
I-805 Closed on Aug. 18-19: Motorists are asked to Steer Clear
SAN DIEGO – State transportation and law enforcement officials today painted a worse-case scenario of a massive traffic jam if motorists do not heed warnings to steer clear of the DARmageddon Interstate 805 (I-805) full freeway closure coming this Sunday afternoon.
Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman and Captain Matt Guthrie, San Diego Area Commander for the California Highway Patrol told reporters that a seven-mile stretch of I-805 will be closed from State Route 54 to SR-905 starting Sunday at 3 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m. The closure is needed to demolish the East Palomar Street bridge over the freeway in order to make room for a transit station and Direct Access Ramp, also known as a DAR; therefore the warning DARmageddon to raise awareness of the closure and potential traffic impacts. The work is part of the I-805 Express Lanes South Project.
“This 14-hour closure has the potential to create a massive traffic jam of up to three hours in wait if motorists to not heed the warnings to say away,” Berman said. “Once again, it is important that motorists avoid this area at all costs or risk being stuck in long traffic delays.”
Berman said that by doing the bridge demolition all at once, the contractor is able to do in one night what would normally take eight nights to complete using the normal nightly construction work window. It is a considerable reduction in impact to motorists and nearby residents, she said.
Berman said that if motorists absolutely cannot avoid the area, then they should consider the north-south drive on State Route 125 and the South Bay Expressway. The South Bay Expressway is normally a toll road, but will be open and free of charge for all motorists during DARmageddon. “That’s right – no charge for any driver wishing to use the South Bay Expressway during the closure hours. The South Bay Expressway offers plenty of ramps providing access to local streets along the way. You may also access the South Bay Expressway to and from the International Border area.”
I-5 is also offered as a detour, but expects to have issues with traffic congestion as well.
Guthrie noted that officers will be out in force the afternoon and night of the closure to monitor traffic conditions and keeping the worksite safe and secure for construction workers. Detour routes and other construction information can be found at KeepSanDiegoMoving.com or by calling the I-805 Construction Hotline at (888) 941-5005
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