Holiday weekend traffic led to major delays on I-5 in both directions near Lakehead. Construction of a new bridge near the Antlers Road exit reduced I-5 down to one lane in both directions. Caltrans started the project in 2009 and it has an expected completion of 2015. Increased traffic from the holiday weekend and unexpected high volumes of commercial truck traffic led to delays of up to three hours.
Drivers should expect delays throughout the summer.
"It's likely during the weekends through July and August, the remaining weekends, we will also experience similarly heavy traffic, so motorists should be aware to carry plenty of water and expect delays of two to three hours," said Caltrans construction manager Chris Cummings.
Caltrans has a rover on site during the weekends that can provide water and gas to drivers stuck in the delays.
Caltrans said the delays are inevitable. There is no other way to divert traffic through that area due to the nature of the project. Drivers can take a detour on highway 299 and highway 89 to avoid the area. That detour will add an extra hour of drive time.
Caltrans has changeable signage placed north and south of the construction area to alert drivers of potential delays. Traffic information is also available on 1610 AM.