Created: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:47:00 PST
Updated: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 08:50:50 PST
CHULA VISTA (CNS) - Authorities advised South Bay commuters Wednesday to prepare for a major upcoming Interstate 805 closure that will allow for long-needed improvements to traffic circulation in the heavily traveled area.
The north-south freeway will be blocked off between State Routes 54 and 905 for about 14 hours starting at 3 p.m. on Aug. 18, according to Caltrans.
The shutdown will allow crews to demolish East Palomar Street Bridge to make way for a new "direct-access ramp" designed to allow drivers to easily merge into express lanes under construction along the route.
Also, the so-called DAR connector eventually will provide convenient access to a planned transit station in the area, according to the state transportation agency.
During the closure -- dubbed "DARmageddon," a variation on "Carmageddon," the jokey nickname for two large-scale weekend closures of the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Los Angeles area -- motorists will be diverted to the east to State Route 125, a toll road that will be temporarily free of charge over the construction period.
The work is necessary because I-805 is "the only major freeway in the county that doesn't have an alternative mass-transit option," project manager Ramon Martinez told 10 News.
"There is no trolley; there is no carpool," he said. "So this project is going to address that need."