Major Roadwork Project Gets Underway Due To Shelter Orders

Caltrans is taking advantage of the shelter in place orders to take care of the major Alemany roadwork project that one engineer earlier dubbed “Carmageddon”

Northbound highway 101 in San Francisco was shut down at 6 a.m. Friday morning where it meets interstate 280 for a major deck replacement project and parts of the road are expected to remain closed for about two weeks. Traffic is being diverted onto 280 and city streets for the time being.

On a normal day about 240,000 drivers take that section of the freeway, but that number has now been cut in half because of the shelter in place orders. 

“This is going to be a 24/7 operation. We’re not gonna stop until it’s done,” says Caltrans spokesperson Bart Ney. “The first thing that we have to do on the northbound side of the freeway is saw cut the old deck. It’s a 70-year-old road bed that people of been driving on for a good seven decades it’s ready to be replaced.”

Crews are sawing the road rather than use jackhammers to minimize noise for neighbors and steps are being taken to protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

The initial deck removal will take all day Friday, then crews will replace 800 feet of the bridge deck. The whole project is expected to take about 18 days and was originally planned for July, but moved up in order to take advantage of the reduced traffic impact under shelter in place orders. Still, the project is expected to be disruptive.

“This is going to be an impactful project. We know the traffic is going to be slower even though it’s been reduced,” says Ney. The highway is currently open in the southbound direction, but work will eventually switch onto that side of the roadway. “So if you can stay away from the 101 freeway that would be the thing to do for the next 10 days or so.“

Drivers will be diverted off of 101 and onto 280 for the time being and detours will be marked. Ney recommends drivers refer to 511.org for up-to-date information on closures and detours as the work continues.