SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Emergency roadwork on I-5 in Sacramento snarled traffic on Labor Day, causing delays as people made their way home from their holiday destinations.
Traffic was slow-moving as semi trucks and cars were forced to merge into two lanes on northbound I-5 from I Street to Richards Boulevard and machinery filled the road.
“It was almost like boom to a standstill when we hit the traffic,” said Carla Johnson.
Johnson was visiting family in Stockton, when she got a call from a truck driver friend of hers who told her about the repair work being done and that she needs to hit the road if she wants to make her flight.
“I’m going to Los Angeles, I was not expecting this…it’s very bad timing, come on, it’s the holiday weekend,” said Johnson.
The emergency repair work by Caltrans comes after a large pothole in the pavement damaged roughly 20 cars last week.
“They should have opened up a lane or something today,” said Chris Nobles.
“It’s bumper to bumper; you have big rigs getting in the fast lane, the slow lane, no way you can get around it,” said driver Mark Kennedy.
Some drivers tried to escape, others stayed away all together. Meanwhile, Caltrans Crews have been working 24 hours around the clock tearing up asphalt and re-laying the roadway. But the timing couldn’t be worse, as thousands of people tried to make their way home from their Labor Day destinations.
Steve Valent and his family were returning from camping near Redding. He says his friends gave him a heads up.
“They said they were sitting at a standstill just past Sacramento and told us to avoid it if we can,” he said.
“Hopefully they’ll not be working all night, and wrap this up soon, or at least for tomorrow morning’s rush-hour traffic,” said Johnson.
Caltrans says the repair work is on schedule, and this stretch of northbound I-5 will be back to four lanes Tuesday morning at 4 a.m.
To avoid delays, motorists are urged to use westbound U.S. Highway 50 to eastbound I-80 and reconnect with northbound I-5 as an alternate route.