Roadway Repairs on I-5 Will Last Three Years
I’m Sacramento car accident lawyer, Ed Smith. Commuters are going to see significant changes coming to I-5 as a long-term project starts to replace the old road and modernize it. As more and more people moved into the outlying areas surrounding downtown Sacramento, the I-5 corridor became inadequate to handle the flow of commuters. The project is expected to last for about three years, according to Caltrans. While commuters probably won’t be happy with the ongoing construction and traffic delays, the finished road should make it a much safer commute.
Adding a New Center Divide
One of the big fixes will be the addition of a 54-inch center divide, which is now 32 inches. The manager of Caltrans stated that since trucks are larger and taller, the concrete median is insufficient to provide adequate protection in the event of a crash. The new divider will help deter large trucks from crossing over the highway into oncoming traffic during an accident.
I-5 in Poor Condition
One of the major problems with the interstate is that some sections are patched and rough while others are cracked and in poor condition, affecting vehicles that drive over them. Tire grip has been a serious problem along some sections. After Caltrans’ engineers tested sections for skid, it was discovered the pavement did not have the ability to grip tires that meet state standards. During wet weather, that area of the highway was especially hazardous, resulting in a high percentage of vehicle crashes. One involved a FedEx truck that slid across three lanes in inclement weather, fatally injuring an Elk Grove resident.
Length and Scope of the Project
Caltrans says the project will cost in the neighborhood of $267 million. This will be paid for in part by subsidies from the gas tax. Overall, 10 miles of repavement will be part of the effort to make I-5 safer.
Systems to monitor traffic flow and speed as well as new pumps to drain off rainwater are planned. Other work might be added if money is available for further projects. Freeway ramps will be widened in some areas, pedestrian and bicycle crossings improved and digital message boards added.
Multiple lanes and ramp closures between Elk Grove and downtown Sacramento are expected as work proceeds. On weekends, closures of entire sections for a period of 55 hours are anticipated.
Additional Future Projects
While no definite plans are in the works, other projects are envisioned in the future. One is to modify bridges that span the American River in North Sacramento. The bridges need to accommodate large trucks. To do this, widening the existing bridges or replacing them with more suitable ones might be on drawing boards.
Opposition to Caltrans’ plan comes from environmentalists and those who feel using the gas tax to fund some of the projects is not feasible. The latter group maintains that the gas tax will simply be placed into the state’s general fund. Opponents of the tax have already started to get signatures to have its repeal placed on the ballot in November.
Environmentalists feel that adding carpool lanes will not only encourage building new homes in the area but damage the air homeowners breathe. They cite studies showing that building a freeway can lead to poorer health for residents living in its shadow.
Accidents on Unmaintained Highways
City and state governments are responsible for maintaining roads. When roads are poorly maintained, accidents happen more frequently. Aside from making roads that are more dangerous in wet weather or not preventing head-on collisions, poor roadway care causes other problems. One example is the effect the infrastructure problem has for motorcycle riders. Potholes can cause a cyclist to lose control of his or her bike. Even a relatively shallow pothole can cause a motorcycle to stop suddenly. When poor maintenance is a causative factor in an accident, it is possible to hold the state or city responsible for the accident.
Filing a Claim Against a Government Entity
It is possible to file a claim against a government entity for poorly maintained roads. One aspect of lodging the claim that is important to remember is the difference in the time you have to file from other types of accidents. The claim must be filed within six months from the time the injury occurred. Unless you are given approval for late filing, a claim filed after the six-month period will be dismissed, and the claimant loses the right to file a claim in the future. The government has 45 days to respond. If the claim is rejected, the injured party has six months to file a lawsuit. However, if there is no response to the claim, the time to file a lawsuit increases to two years. An experienced attorney will ensure that claims are filed in a timely manner.
Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers
I’m Sacramento car accident lawyer, Ed Smith. If you were injured due to roadway conditions or if a family member was killed, you need a seasoned attorney on your side. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. You can also reach out to me online.
As a California member of the Million Dollar Forum, I am part of a group of attorneys who have won over one million dollar verdicts and settlements.
You can also check out my settlements and verdicts page to see how I resolved other cases.
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