SAN DIEGO - San Diegans are being urged to plan ahead to avoid traffic jams and gridlock this weekend.
Caltrans workers shut down a 3-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 15 from SR-56/Ted Williams Parkway to the Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard/Poway Road exit for drainage improvement. The closure is expected to last through Monday at 4 a.m.
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"The public should anticipate traffic congestion and potentially lengthy delays during this closure," said Caltrans Corridor Director Gustavo Dallarda.
The southbound I-15 Express Lanes will serve as the primary detour and will be available to all drivers at no charge.
Drivers who do not use the Express Lanes will be detoured on to westbound SR-56, then south on Black Mountain Road, then left on Mercy Road and will re-enter the southbound I-15 at the Mercy Road onramp.
Northbound lanes on I-15 will not be affected by this closure.
"A closure of this magnitude is relatively rare, and the best thing for motorists to do is steer clear of the area completely," Dallarda said. "As always, motorists are reminded to slow down, watch out for highway workers and safely move over a lane when they see flashing amber lights on Caltrans or other emergency vehicles."
10News cameras caught traffic backed up for miles on Saturday evening, hours after crews shut down the southbound lanes of the freeway.
Casey Nomura stopped at a nearby gas station to take a break after being stuck in traffic. The gridlock caused him to be late heading to a concert.
"All of a sudden, we just stop," he said. "I thought it was a couple of lanes, but it was the whole freeway."
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