From the burgeoning City of Elk Grove south of Sacramento, through downtown to the American River Bridge, Interstate 5 hosts more than 200,000 vehicles and 15,000 trucks every day, moving commuters, commercial goods, and travelers throughout the region and the Western United States.
Constructed in 1975, the Sacramento I-5 Corridor performed well for more than 45 years, but was finally in need of roadway rehabilitation and expansion, so on May 31, 2019, Caltrans awarded the contract for the I-5 Corridor Enhancement Project, FixSac5, to Norcal Paving, a joint venture of A. Teichert and Son Inc. and Granite Construction Companies.
Work began in late July 2019, with a slated completion date of December 2022. Thanks to efficiencies enacted by the Norcal Paving crews, the project is now targeting summer 2022 for completion.
The scope of the FixSac5 Project encompasses pavement rehabilitation, construction of new High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, replacement of a pedestrian overcrossing, construction of new sound walls, installation of new fiber optic lines, the addition of new ramp meters, and the extension of various entrance and exit ramps.
Roadway rehabilitation work will cover 67-lane-miles and new construction will add 23 miles of carpool lanes. In addition, improvements will be made to the existing electrical and drainage systems along the corridor.
The total project cost is $370 million, with $280 million from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP), $48.3 million from SB1-Solutions for Congested Corridors Program (SHOPP/SCCP), $33.2 million from STA Local Measure A Tax, and $8.5 million from SACOG Congestion Management and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ).
The addition of new HOV lanes will provide motorists with a significantly better daily commute along this busy freeway corridor, as current traffic during commute periods exceeds the freeway capacity and it’s only going to increase as future development is planned for southern reaches of Sacramento and the City of Elk Grove. HOV lanes, versus standard lanes, are being added to provide commuters with an incentive to use carpools, van pools, and buses during peak travel periods, with the added benefit of improving the air quality.
On October 5, 2021, Caltrans opened a new southbound HOV lane well ahead of schedule. “The project’s overall progress is ahead of schedule and the new bus/carpool lane will be a welcome relief to the many motorists traveling southbound on I-5 to Elk Grove,” said Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet Benipal.
“Reducing the mileage traveled by single-occupancy cars on California’s highways is an important part of Caltrans’ strategic plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Director Toks Omishakin. “The opening of the new bus and carpool lane gives travelers a convenient alternative to quickly reach their destination while also helping the environment.”
Unique Demo of the I-5 Land Park Pedestrian Overcrossing
The supporting columns of the existing I-5 Land Park Pedestrian Overcrossing were located in the path of the new HOV lanes of the I-5 Corridor Enhancement Project, so it was deemed that the overcrossing had to come down and be replaced with a new one with a different, wider span to accommodate the new carpool lanes. But how do you demo a narrow, high-elevation concrete pedestrian bridge structure over a busy Interstate Highway? Here’s a pictorial description of how Norcal Paving did it.