Speed Limit Dropped For 3 Year I-5 Widening Project

Drivers on Interstate Five between Redding and Anderson will have to get used to some inconvenience before the drastic improvement of six lanes is completed in three years from now. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday for the $138 million project. In addition to six lanes continuously from Deschutes Road to Bonnyview, the project will also include a new median barrier and guard railing, overhead signs, upgraded lighting and a rehab of the existing pavement. The project will require the widening of eight bridges, and the complete replacement of the Anderson Creek Bridge and South Anderson Railroad Overcrossing. Shari Re is the construction chief for CalTrans District 2. She says it’s fortunate that the builders and suppliers who submitted the lowest bids happen to be local companies. Primary contractor J.F.Shea has their own gravel plant so they’ll provide most if not all of the hot mix asphalt, while Lehigh Cement will provide all the cement. The speed limit on the freeway has been reduced to 55 MPH for the entire 7-and-a-half miles, and it will remain that way 24 hours a day until the work is done. CHP Officer Jason Morton says they expect to write a lot of tickets as drivers get used to slowing down. He says Thursday morning he wrote 15 tickets in three hours. When officers issue speeding tickets they have the option of checking a box that indicates a violation within a construction zone, which doubles the amount of the fine.


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