WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — West Sacramento city leaders say a major freeway construction project threatens public safety and has a huge, negative impact.
The W-X Viaduct Project will take a section of Highway 50 in Downtown Sacramento from 10 lanes to five.
It’s crippling commute traffic on overdrive the likes of which West Sacramento has never seen.
“It’s going to be an absolute nightmare,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.
But this isn’t a store so much about time as it is timing.
The city fired off two letters to Caltrans demanding the agency delay the project the second week of June when kids are out of school.
Caltrans’ response? It can’t
“Let’s face it, there’s no real good way to do this, because of the specific location,” said Dennis Keaton. “If we keep pushing it back, we’re still gonna run into the same issues. The deck’s cracked and it needs immediate repair.”
So from May 2 to June 17, each direction will be shut down for a time, cutting the available lanes in half.
Just off of Highway 50, Audio Solutionz is one of many West Sacramento businesses bracing for the inevitable impact.
“We’re gonna lose, 10, 20 grand in that month,” said Jason Gomez. “That could be the potential loss.”
The city even wants a dedicated California Highway Patrol helicopter to transport patients, concerned ambulances won’t be able to get through the gridlock.
“It will affect every square inch of the city’s traffic system,” Cabaldon said.
City leaders say access to the Amgen bike race and Raley Field will be limited, and they may post police at intersections to control traffic jams.
West Sacramento wants Caltrans to foot the bill, saying the city can’t afford the nearly $600,000 hit.
Caltrans is reviewing the numbers.
“We have to look at the numbers and crunch them to see what’s available, if anything is,” Keaton said.
As we wait for an answer on the money, Caltrans says it will hold off on two smaller construction projects in the area to try to minimize some of the impact.
West Sacramento is set to meet with Caltrans on Friday.