Costly Fix For Pioneer Bridge Proving Frustrating For Drivers

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The pile-up continues on the Pioneer Bridge as crews work to resurface the busted road.

Thursday evening it was nothing but a sea of red lights and traffic at a standstill.

“I think it’s a mess. I don’t know, all this with the streets and everything. They need to figure out something. Sacramento is already bad,” said one driver.

Our GoPro commute around 7:30 p.m., when closures begin from Business 80 onto the Pioneer Bridge to West Sacramento, took 30 minutes. It usually takes less than ten.

“We estimate as much as an hour delay for detours,” said Dennis Keaton with Caltrans.

Ramps that are usually open, including the southbound Interstate 5 ramp onto the Pioneer Bridge, will close intermittently.

“We don’t want the public to have a false sense of security thinking that those ramps are going to be open all the time or else they could really be backed up even more,” Keaton said.

While some ramps may be open, they may be closed the next night.

“It depends on the availability of equipment,” he said and also dependent on the contractor. “If he’s not working on them, there’s no sense in trying to keep them closed and just open them back up again.”

The 55-hour weekend closure will be 10 p.m. Friday, through 5 a.m. Monday for the next five weekends. That’s just during the weekend. Weekdays Monday through Thursday it will see closures from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Drivers aren’t happy.

“I left East Sacramento and it took me an hour to get to Natomas,” said Aneet Hayer. “Usually it takes 20 minutes.”

The worst impact is expected on the weekends.

“Try to plan ahead,” Keaton said.

The River Cats game is every evening and it’s also the last weekend of the State Fair.

It’s all a part of resurfacing the Pioneer Bridge that will ultimately cost $25 million.

Three years ago Caltrans used a contractor to surface the road, but Keaton said for whatever reason it didn’t hold. That project at the time was only $6 million he said.

More from Jennifer McGraw
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