Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Repairs to ease drivers' despair on I-80

June 29, 2007

Repairs to ease drivers' despair on I-80

By Barry Eberling

FAIRFIELD - Workers are making $2 million in emergency repairs along the local stretch of Interstate 80 to smooth out the ride just a little bit.

The state Department of Transportation makes a few repairs on the deteriorating pavement just about every year. Workers take out the worst potholes in the Fairfield and Vacaville area, where the decades-old concrete pavement in some areas sinks several inches.

"They're trying to keep (the pavement) together," said Daryl Halls, Solano Transportation Authority executive director. "They understand the highway is falling apart."

Some repairs will be made on westbound I-80 near Air Base Parkway in Fairfield, Caltrans official Keith Wayne said.

The agency also made $2 million in emergency repairs last summer. It replaced 250 concrete slabs, each several feet wide.

Although Caltrans annually gets rid of the most jarring potholes, plenty of crumbling pavement remains. The emergency repairs are buying time.

"They're just kind of bandaging it until the major resurfacing can take place," Halls said.

That long-awaited, $120 million renovation project is to begin next year. It will repair pavement from Leisure Town Road in Vacaville to near Hiddenbrooke in Vallejo, except for a stretch near Cordelia that was repaved in 2004.

Also next year, Caltrans will start building carpool lanes that will extend eight miles from Red Top Road to Air Base Parkway. Because of that work, Fairfield will be the last area to get the pavement renovation.

Halls said the renovation project will start at both the Vallejo and Vacaville ends and work toward Fairfield.

For now, though, the freeway will be a little smoother because of the emergency repairs that began last week. The California Transportation Commission approved the repairs at its meetings in early June.

Reach Barry Eberling at 425-4646 Ext. 232 or at

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