Authorities remind travelers to South Bay that a stretch of Interstate 805 will be closed for 14 hours starting Sunday afternoon so crews can make way for the installation of a direct-access ramp.
Starting at 3 p.m. Sunday, the freeway will be closed in both directions between state Route 54 and state Route 905, according to Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments. The closure will last until 5 a.m. Monday and is expected to have a significant impact on area traffic.
Officials said the closure is needed so crews can demolish and remove the 38-year-old East Palomar Street bridge over the freeway to make way for a direct access ramp, from which buses, carpool and vanpool vehicles can access the express lanes being constructed on the freeway. The direct access ramp is expected to be completed in winter of next year.
“Given the nature of the work, we are affectionately calling this freeway closure DARmageddon,” Caltrans District 11 Director Laurie Berman said. “The public should anticipate traffic congestion and potentially lengthy delays during the closure, which is why we are urging motorists to steer clear of I-805 in South County completely during the bridge demolition.
On average, about 141,000 vehicles travel each day in the East Palomar Bridge area of the 805, according to transportation officials.
Caltrans officials encourage drivers get off the 805 before the detours to help prevent congestion.
Transit officials recommended southbound motorists on Interstate 805 exit at westbound state Route 54 then head south on Interstate 5. Those heading north from the San Ysidro border crossing can take Interstate 5 north to eastbound state Route 54 then northbound Interstate 5.
Southbound motorists can also detour via the South Bay Expressway, which will be toll-free in both directions during the closure .
Drivers will be detoured onto eastbound state Route 54 to southbound state Route 125, from which they will turn right onto Otay Mesa Road, left onto La Media Road to the state Route 905 on-ramp then exit onto southbound Interstate 805.