Monday, February 04, 2008

Repair Work On Interstate 80 Coming Two Years Early

Repair Work On Interstate 80 Coming Two Years Early
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | February 01, 2008

VACAVILLE - Vacaville leaders are not only pleased their cracked, potholed stretch of Interstate 80 is getting repaved, but it's happening two years earlier than planned.

'This is two years in advance of what the original schedule was,' Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gary Tatum said. 'It is gratifying to know that they are in tune with us.'

State Department of Transportation District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi got a warm welcome from Vacaville leaders Friday morning when he updated them on what was planned for Solano County's highways.

The chamber-sponsored meeting came only a day after Caltrans announced it was going to start the first of four repaving and improvement projects this spring on 27 miles of I-80.

'I want to thank the residents for their patience while we put these projects together,' Sartipi said.

Sartipi described I-80 as a 50-year-old roadway that has done its job as the major transportation corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area, and needs improvement.

Combined with Caltrans' plans for improving Highway 12, Sartipi said Solano County is one of the top two counties in the San Francisco Bay Area that Caltrans is spending money on.

Caltrans plans to spend $125 million on the highway between Tennessee Street in Vallejo and Leisure Town Road in Vacaville during the next three years.

Caltrans is already getting ready to add one lane in the westbound direction on Highway 12 just west of I-80 to allow trucks to better climb the hill there.

Work will start on the first two sections of I-80 this spring. The work includes:

n Putting in a median barrier and high-occupancy vehicle lanes between Red Top Road and Air Base Parkway.

n Rehabilitating the pavement between Leisure Town Road and Air Base Parkway.

This summer, Caltrans will also start rehabilitating pavement and installing a median barrier on the highway section between Tennessee Street and American Canyon Road.

'You will be seeing a lot of road repair in the I-80 corridor this summer,' Sartipi said.

State budget cuts aren't hurting Caltrans as much as other departments this year because Gov. Schwarzenegger has realized how important it is to keep the roads repaired, Sartipi added.

'This does not mean we have all the funds to address all of the issues,' Sartipi said, noting 40 percent of the state's road improvement and repair needs are still going unmet.

Solano Transportation Authority Executive Director Daryl Halls warned other local leaders to continue to work with Caltrans 'to make sure these projects get delivered.'

While there is some risk that the funding could get yanked away, 'I see the risk as very small,' Sartipi said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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