California Department of Transportation District 11 ­ San Diego & Imperial Counties

District 11

Thursday, Aug. 5, 2013

Contact: Media Relations Officer Cathryne Bruce-Johnson

Phone: (619) 688-6670

Caltransí Social Media Proves Useful Tool For Routing Motorists Around Closures

SAN DIEGO – Caltrans recognizes the importance of social media and saw it play out during the recent Steer Clear closure in late July on southbound Interstate 15 (I-15), just south of State Route 56.

“Postings on our Twitter account (@SDCaltrans) provided motorists and news reporters with traffic condition and construction progress photos and updates as they were happening,” said Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman.

“As one detour became congested, we were able to get the word out instantly about alternative choices.  Of course, everyone knows this is a useful tool before leaving home and not to Tweet and drive,” she added.

Caltrans in San Diego and Imperial counties recently surpassed 2,500 followers on Twitter, gaining more than 230 followers in the two weeks up to and through the closure on I-15.  Followers were responsible for re-tweeting, or passing along the critical info, about two dozen times, reaching an even larger audience.

“Comparatively speaking, say to Justin Bieber or Katy Perry, we are small.  But we are steadily growing and the information we provide may save motorists time and money, especially when it comes to the big ‘DARmegeddon’ closure of Interstate 805 (I-805) on August 18 and 19,” Berman said.

Berman expects @SDCaltrans and Caltrans QuickMap with mobile ap (quickmap.dot.ca.gov) along with media reports to be the focal points for real-time state transportation information for the public during the “DARmegeddon” closure.  It promises to be a very dynamic situation throughout the afternoon and evening with three major alternatives to consider for north and south travel – the first being to avoid the area at all costs.  The remaining choices will be I-5 and the South Bay Expressway (State Route 125).  The South Bay Expressway will be free of charge for motorists during the closure.

The “DARmegeddon” closure will take place on I-805 between SR-54 and SR-905 starting Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. through Aug. 19 at 5 a.m.  It is called “DARmegeddon” to spotlight the demolition of the existing East Palomar Street Bridge and make room for a transit station and Direct Access Ramp (DAR) down to I-805.

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