South Bay commuters warned of looming traffic nightmare

CHULA VISTA (CNS) – Authorities advised South Bay commuters Wednesday to prepare for a major upcoming Interstate 805 closure that will allow for long-needed improvements to traffic circulation in the heavily traveled area.

The north-south freeway will be blocked off between State Routes 54 and 905 for about 14 hours starting at 3 p.m. on Aug. 18, according to Caltrans.

The shutdown will allow crews to demolish East Palomar Street Bridge to make way for a new “direct-access ramp” designed to allow drivers to easily merge into express lanes under construction along the route.

Also, the so-called DAR connector eventually will provide convenient access to a planned transit station in the area, according to the state transportation agency.

During the closure — dubbed “DARmageddon,” a variation on “Carmageddon,” the jokey nickname for two large-scale weekend closures of the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Los Angeles area — motorists will be diverted to the east to State Route 125, a toll road that will be temporarily free of charge over the construction period.

The work is necessary because I-805 is “the only major freeway in the county that doesn't have an alternative mass-transit option,” project manager Ramon Martinez said.

“There is no trolley; there is no carpool,” he said. “So this project is going to address that need.”

Categories: KUSI