For many East Bay drivers the first weekend of December means the kickoff of the holiday party circuit and a likely trip along the I-880 corridor.
Those who are planning to attend office Christmas parties, dine out with friends or shop San Francisco are getting an early heads up from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) that yet another phase of construction work along I-880 at High Street is scheduled for Dec. 3 and 4.
This will mark the second time traffic has been significantly rerouted at the I-880 High Street Bridge as part of the ongoing High Street Seismic Retrofit Project .
The northbound lanes of I-880 will shift onto the old southbound lanes. The shift will take traffic off of the northbound lanes of the High Street overpass to allow the demolition and reconstruction of those lanes. (Southbound traffic already shifted onto the new bridge over High Street on Nov. 13.)
This latest northbound shift is expected to begin around 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. Northbound I-880 will remain open with only occasional intermittent lane closures over High Street throughout that night.
A full closure of the southbound lanes will occur early Sunday, Dec. 4 from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Caltrans plans to have all lanes reopened by Sunday at noon.
The ramp upgrade is one of eight that are part of the wider Interstate 880 Corridor Improvement Project. The improvements are being made along a 15-mile segment of the freeway between Oakland and Hayward and are expected to take eight years to complete.
The High Street Seismic Retrofit Project was developed through a partnership with the cities of Alameda and Oakland and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Construction began in 2009 and it is scheduled to be completed by 2014. The estimated cost is $100 million.
The portion of I-880 at High Street was built in 1950 and is considered by Caltrans to be vulnerable to damage in the event of a major earthquake.