Tuesday, August 2, 2011
SAN DIEGO CALTRANS said their bad timing will become better as they begin nightly roadwork an hour later on the Coronado Bridge. Normally, I wouldn’t notice such a small thing. But I learned it doesn't seem so small when you’re stopped dead in traffic while trying to get home at night.
I was heading home around 10 p.m. Sunday from a movie at the refurbished Village Theatre on Orange Avenue when I drove into traffic that was stopped, with very little go. It quickly became clear that all of us angry motorists were trying to get out of town on the bridge.
It took me half an hour before I could even make the right turn onto 4th street, which heads to the span. It was another half hour to actually get onto the bridge. There I learned that three lanes, eastbound, had been reduced to one lane for roadwork. When I finally got moving I saw a construction-helmeted CALTRANS worker dropping traffic cones from the back of a slow-moving pickup truck. He looked like he wondered where everyone was going.
It was the first day of work to move a set of concrete barriers on the bridge that separates lanes of traffic. Apparently CALTRANS did not realize Coronado was having a big concert event that evening in Spreckels Park.
Edward Cartegena, a CALTRANS spokesman, was cheerful and apologetic when I told him of the traffic odyssey. He said they didn’t know about the concert.
“We do research before we plan to close highways. But for some reason we missed it,” he said.
CALTRANS won’t begin work on the bridge until 8 p.m. on weeknights and not before 9 p.m. on Sunday. That’s one hour later than originally planned for weeknights, and two hours later for Sunday.
Keep that in in mind. And if you need to get out of Coronado, sometime in the next two weeks, consider taking the ferry.