As Memorial Day weekend approaches, the California Department of Transportation District 2 and its contractors remind the public to be prepared. The traveling public may want to gather information to plan their trip well, especially if they will be traveling on Interstate 5 between Mount Shasta City and Anderson.
Three major highway projects are in full construction operations on this I-5 corridor, and they involve lane closures, temporary concrete railing, speed limit reductions, as well as cone-and-barricade delineated construction zones.
The I-5 corridor extends for approximately 70 miles between Mount Shasta City and Anderson. Major highway projects in this corridor include: bridge replacement at Sims Rd. and Crag View Dr., south of Dunsmuir; bridge deck and rail work at O’Brien Rd., located approximately 18 miles north of Redding in Shasta County; and the Redding to Anderson Six Lane Expansion Project also in Shasta County.
Measured traffic volumes on I-5 and other California state routes have decreased after social distancing and stay at home mandates due to COVID19. Travel experts suggest fewer people will hit the road during the upcoming summer holidays.
For the North State, the Caltrans District 2 Traffic Management Center in Redding also anticipates a lesser number of vehicles on I-5 and elsewhere during Memorial weekend.
Traffic flow is not only directly influenced by the number of cars and lane closure constraints, but also by accidents, extreme weather and unforeseen situations.
According to the District 2 Traffic Management Center, which monitors and gathers highway traffic data, the highest traffic volume period on the I-5 corridor will be on between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday, May 25.
Currently, traffic is reduced to one lane at the O’Brien, Sims and Crag View bridges, located on I-5 between Mount Shasta City and Redding. If travel is necessary, southbound motorists are encouraged to travel at other times.
Southbound traffic is anticipated to experience up to 1-hour delays and backups of up to 4 miles approaching Sims and Crag View Project south of Dunsmuir and the O’Brien Deck and Rail Project in northern Shasta County between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. South of Redding, the traveling public will encounter the RASL – Redding to Anderson Six Lane Project, which currently has no delays anticipated.
Northbound traffic is anticipated to have no delays or backups at any of the construction zones on May 25. The contractors for the above-mentioned projects, J.F. Shea Construction and Golden State Bridge Construction may have people working this holiday, but this will not disrupt traffic.
Traffic delays in either direction at any of the work locations are not anticipated for Friday, May 22, Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 24.
One caveat: Caltrans District 2 reminds the public that traffic conditions may change at any time due to accidents or extreme weather.
Caltrans asks the traveling public to slow down throughout the construction zones, clearly delineated by temporary concrete rail, cones, and barricades.
The speed limit on I-5 in the North State, normally at 65-miles-per-hour and 70 mph, has been reduced to 55 mph throughout construction zones. In many cases, the speed limit has been reduced to 50 mph or less.
Lives can be saved by reducing speeds and driving with caution. Fines are doubled in construction zones. California Highway Patrol Officers will be in the area.
According to a statement from Caltrans, “We cannot say it enough: slow sown, and leave the phone alone. Be above being distracted and focus on driving. Be our partner in safety.”
Caltrans recommends families and individuals, especially those traveling with children and/or pets, to bring enough food, snacks and water in case of lengthy delays.
“We ask for the traveling public’s patience and understanding in case they find themselves amid delays,” according to the statement. “We wish everyone an enjoyable and safe Memorial Day Weekend. The state’s transportation system is a high priority for California. As the Caltrans 2020 construction season is currently underway, the North Region Construction and District 2 are aiming to follow construction operations as scheduled while monitoring developments related to COVID-19.