A road construction boom along Sacramento's perimeter has drivers bracing behind the wheel.
- And a road construction boom surrounding Sacramento area drivers. Well, these drivers are bracing for backups. Three major projects are about to happen.
- But why wait until now? CBS 13's Marissa Perlman is getting answers.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Traffic trouble and a Sacramento slowdown.
- It has added, actually, about 15 to 20 minutes just on my commute.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Caltrans says, because of three construction projects and multiple roadways all at once.
- It's been a pain dealing with it. A lot more traffic and congestion.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Now, long-term projects on both I-5 and 50 could take years to finish. Plus, commutes will be complicated by the Fix 99 project. That will shut down a three-and-a-half-mile of 99 in both directions for a four-day period.
- Why'd you have to pick all the freeways all at once to do? Oh, might as well start 80 as well.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Drivers seeing more accidents in construction zones.
- I feel it really is dangerous.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Like this one, a six-car pileup on Highway 50. No one was seriously hurt, but this crash landed right in the middle of the Fix 50 construction project.
- Because there is a lot of construction going on.
MARISSA PERLMAN: But why are these projects going on all at the same time? Angela [? de ?] [? Prado ?] with Caltrans says one of the main reasons is funding. Cash now funneling in from Senate Bill 1, meant to improve California's infrastructure.
- We are really getting the funding that we have been needing for a long time to do a lot of big projects.
MARISSA PERLMAN: But why wait until the pandemic is over, as folks are returning to work, to get these projects going?
- Unfortunately we weren't able to start it right when COVID began because we didn't know COVID was going to happen.
MARISSA PERLMAN: Designs for these projects weren't ready when COVID hit in 2020. For now, drivers say they'll deal with delays, hoping this traffic headache is worth it and no one gets hurt.
- Yeah, it is a hassle, but I guess they have to do what they have to do in order for things to get done.
- Well, Caltrans has been working on the 99 project for months. And that's why the project will only take four days. As we first told you, they've been building pieces of highway at a facility in Lathrop, and they'll bring those pieces to the highway and then fit them together kind of like a puzzle, making the process move more quickly.