City streets in Pleasanton and Dublin were packed with slow-moving traffic Saturday as people took detours around the southbound Interstate 680 closure.
The closure began Friday night and is set to continue through Monday morning. Southbound 680 is closed through Pleasanton starting at the I-680/580 interchange and continuing to Highway 84 in Sunol.
Many drivers have been left stuck in bumper-to-bumper agony, but Caltrans says the closure is necessary to both replace a portion of the deteriorating roadway as well as add an express lane.
“After this project is completed, motorists will experience a much smoother ride,” said Caltrans Spokesperson Pedra Quintana. “So what we’re trying to do here this weekend is: we’re compressing 40 nights of nightly work into three days over the weekend.”
While the closure is in effect, Caltrans is asking drivers to avoid using Foothill Road and Pleasanton Sunol Road south of Castlewood Drive to help alleviate traffic for people who live in that neighborhood.
This particular closure began Friday night and is expected to end on Monday morning at around 4:00 a.m. The closure is the latest step in a massive project to improve this stretch of 680. Caltrans said this closure will be the last closure of 680 for this year.
Caltrans said it expects the full 680 Express Lane Project to be complete by the winter of 2025, but said the precise time that happens depends on weather, materials, and other factors.
“This is just a short-term pain for a long-term gain for the residents along this corridor,” Quintana said of the closure.
But for some residents, that short-term pain is acute.
Peter Taggart who lives off of Foothill Road in Pleasanton says with the closure, leaving his home is a challenge.
“It’s just horrible, I have to wait 45 minutes to get to my house,” Taggart said, noting that the drive takes him just as long to get to his job which is just down the road from his home.
Taggart said he would prefer to have even one lane of 680 reopened to alleviate some of this traffic.
“They should have other detours or maybe just run it at night, not in the daytime when we need to go through,” said one motorist who was stuck in traffic on Foothill Road.
Source: NBC Bay Area