Friday, February 01, 2008

Work To Pave Way For Smoother Ride

Work To Pave Way For Smoother Ride
By Barry Eberling | DAILY REPUBLIC | January 31, 2008

FAIRFIELD - Recent rains have made the already torn-up pavement on Interstate 80 even worse, giving drivers a jarring ride.

But the state Department of Transportation is working on a solution that will be more than a Band-Aid. Caltrans on Thursday announced that it has begun the first of four projects totaling $125 million that will repave 27 miles of freeway in Solano County by the end of 2009.

That first repaving project already under way is in Vallejo from Tennessee Street to American Canyon Road. Most of the work is to be done between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with some lane closures and some detours to frontage roads.

Caltrans recently put out to bid the project to repave the freeway from near Lagoon Valley through Vacaville to east of Leisure Town Road. It is scheduled to put out to bid in March the pavement reconstruction from American Canyon Road to the interstates 680 and 80 interchange.

The repaving in Fairfield isn't scheduled for this year. Instead, Caltrans will be building a carpool lane there.

Local transportation officials have been demanding the reconstruction of local I-80 for several years. To date, Caltrans has settled for replacing aging concrete slabs that in some cases sunk several inches.

But the state advanced $70 million for the repaving by two years, Caltrans District Four Director Bijan Sartipi stated in a press release.

In 2006, Vacaville Mayor and Solano Transportation Authority Board member Len Augustine delivered a blunt assessment of what could happen on I-80. At the time, the STA was trying to get some emergency repairs made.

'A motorist hits one of those ruts, somebody's going to be dead,' he said. In Thursday's Caltrans press release, Augustine expressed his appreciation for the upcoming repairs that should end the yearly pothole outbreak.

'Working together to accelerate the schedule for the rehabilitation of this vital transportation corridor has been a cooperative effort and will benefit everyone who travels through Solano County on I-80,' Augustine said.

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

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