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Fix 50: First Responders Make Final Preparations Before Sacramento Project

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Inside the communications center at Alpha One Ambulance, the maps are drawn up and the plans are in place to handle a massive construction project.

Alpha One handles about 80 calls a day, transporting patients to and from four Midtown Sacramento hospitals and 14 senior care facilities.

Those locations will be challenging to get to and from in the next two months as Caltrans embarks on the Fix 50 project. Road work on a stretch of Highway 50 wedged between W and X streets in Sacramento will shut down some eastbound lanes starting Tuesday, then some westbound lanes just over a month from now.

To deal with the likely traffic problems, Alpha One plans to bring in twice the ambulances, but that’s just half the battle.

“If we transport, as an example, south, we’re going to have to be taking surface streets and 7 to 10 miles outside of our normal traffic pattern,” said CEO Tom Arjil.

They will use Google Live and Caltrans cameras to figure out which surface streets will be the best to take before a call even comes in.

But how bad traffic will be and which way is the best to go remains to be seen.

“We’ll be evaluating it on a day-by-day, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis,” said Arjil.

Meanwhile hospitals like the UC Davis Medical Center are advising patients allow an extra hour to arrive for appointments. They’ve increased shuttles to the campus, and are encouraging employees to work different hours to avoid normal commute times when possible. They’re also offering employees transit passses to help them get to work on time.

“I think nobody really knows how long the delays will be until the project starts,” said David Ong.

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