FAIRFIELD — Many drivers on the six-mile stretch of Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon have experienced delays beyond the norm this week and could experience more delays at times over the next few days.
A final pavement layer is being added to the inside lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions along the hill area west of Red Top Road, state Department of Transportation spokesman Vince Jacala said. Work is to be done from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and could last until Aug. 26, he said.
Afternoon rush hour traffic Monday heading eastbound toward Fairfield backed up behind the paving project, making for a slow commute. Local resident Geoff Wilcox said it took him one-and-a-half hours to get from the Napa Airport Industrial Park through Jameson Canyon to Interstate 80, including 15 minutes sitting at the Highway 29 traffic light.
Eastbound traffic appeared to be heavy and slow on Highway 12 at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but not as bad as on Monday.
Westbound morning commutes have also been slow, with motorists having to contend with not only Highway 12 paving work, but concrete K-rail near and along the I-80 connector ramp leading to Highway 12. This is an area where vehicles maneuver to change lanes. Wilcox has seen some drivers trying to force their vehicles into the line exiting for Highway 12 at the last possible moment.
“Morning is dangerous,” Wilcox said.
Commuters going the other directions — from Napa to Fairfield in the morning and from Fairfield to Napa in the afternoon — didn’t face delays on Monday and Tuesday.
Caltrans is widening Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon to four lanes, two in each direction. The two outer lanes are open in the Solano County section, with the two middle lanes closed, which as been the case all month. The paving project that began this week hasn’t closed any additional lanes.
Still, Jacala said, delays could arise from trucks moving about and from drivers slowing down to watch the paving.
Highway 12 is a major link between Interstate 80 in Solano County and Highway 29 in Napa County. The 3-mile Napa County portion of the widening project is completed. The 3-mile Solano County portion is scheduled to be completed in early September.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.