SACRAMENTO, CA—Commuters know a thing about traffic jams, but for those who drive down the Altamont, their daily commute will soon become much smoother as construction has begun on widening I-580. Lanes on both sides of the freeway have been closed as workers prepare to extend each road by an extra lane.
While I-580 had recently been expanded in 2016, officials and construction companies agree that it is never too soon to make the freeway wider. “As more Californians commute, it becomes imperative for us to ensure that the freeway can handle the increased traffic flow,” Laurie Berman, director of Caltrans, told the Bard. “It may mean having two, possibly three, lanes closed for the next six, possibly twelve, months, but when we complete the project, traffic will not be an issue for the following six, possibly three, months.”
Many commuters expressed displeasure at the news, but many have also voiced their support for the expansion. “I became so used to driving 20 miles per hour to the Bay Area I don’t think I could handle driving any faster down the Altamont,” one commuter told the Bard.
Caltrans expects the I-580 Widening Project to complete before next summer, but they have also noted that budgeting issues may delay its completion to as late as 2024. Nevertheless, once the new lanes are complete, drivers can expect a much smoother ride until the next widening project begins.