Caltrans Director Will Kempton says the $27 million construction project is long overdue.
"We’re going to be replacing the aging drainage system and pavement after 35 years and you can take a look at that pavement or drive over it and you know it needs to be fixed."
The three-quarter-mile stretch is from R Street to Capital Mall. It’s known as “the boat section” because it actually dips below water level. In fact, it flooded for a weekend back in 1980 because of heavy rains and drainage problems.
But Caltrans engineers say the real problem is underneath the freeway’s surface. River silt and sand are creating blockages in the drainage system and that’s causing deterioration on the surface.
Kempton says the project will take about six-weeks.
"We expect, barring any unforeseen circumstances that all work will be finished by July 15th. If we can do it sooner, we will."
More than 200,000 vehicles usually drive through the boat section every day.
All northbound lanes are scheduled to be closed through next Monday, June 9th. Southbound lane closures start on June 13th.