LIVERMORE (CBS SF) – Caltrans officials had bad news for commuters in the East Bay Wednesday afternoon, announcing that the closure of two westbound lanes of I-580 in Livermore to repair several potholes would extend until 10 p.m.
Caltrans had initially projected that the closure of two right lanes of westbound I-580 near Greenville Road after the Altamont Pass would reopen by 4 p.m., providing some relief for the evening commute.
However, CHP later confirmed that the closure would last until 9 p.m. Shortly after 3:30 p.m., Caltrans extended the lane closure to 10 p.m.
Drivers started experiencing major delays early Wednesday morning.
The California Highway Patrol said they received word of the problem around 3 a.m., after more than a dozen drivers said they experienced flat tires. CHP officers found multiple potholes on the stretch of freeway.
While drivers are being asked to take alternate routes around the closure, major delays have been reported on Altamont Pass Road and Patterson Pass Road as well.
Around 7:10 a.m. the KCBS traffic map showed backups stretching well into San Joaquin County. Interstate 205 appeared to be backed up into Tracy, while Interstate 580 was backed up to Highway 132, which connects the freeway to the Modesto area.
Caltrans took all morning to make a plan to fill the holes temporarily. The real challenge for crews repairing the potholes is that they’re on a bridge, so the fix is not as easy as just filling it in.
“More permanent repairs need warmer, drier weather,” said Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus.
The traffic was crawling between Tracy and Livermore. It took truck driver Dominick Gittens 2½ hours to travel that stretch of freeway. He says 580 has been needing repairs for years.
“It’s happened before, so for them not to fix it and we pay all these taxes, it’s kind of horrible,” said Gittens.
Caltrans says there are plans to re-pave the whole roadway later this year.
“I know that the pavement out there is in really ragged shape, but there are other places that need it even more first,” said Haus.