Labor Day weekend closure of I-280 stretch reopens ahead of schedule

A northbound stretch of Interstate 280 through San Francisco reopened to motorists at about 10 p.m. Monday, several hours ahead of schedule, after work to replace two bridge hinges for seismic safety went “very, very well,” Caltrans spokesman Steven Williams said.

The project for two new hinges — one near Cesar Chavez Street and the other by Evans Avenue — was completed at 7 a.m. Sunday and required reassembling the roadway. A 65-foot-long, 24-foot-wide, 5-foot-deep piece was taken out and concrete and rebar had to be redone.

“We basically used the lessons learned,” said Williams, referring to work on a couple hinges during two previous holiday weekends. “We only allowed seven more hours to do twice as much work, so that was quite a challenge to be able to do.

Apart from addressing the hinges, Caltrans used the Labor Day weekend closure since 2 p.m. Thursday as an opportunity to take care of “a lot of extreme and deferred maintenance,” Williams said.

That included electrical work with the lights, patching up roadway holes, repairing and replacing damaged signs and cleaning the gutters, which get clogged up with trash thrown by motorists and create puddles or “ponding” on the highway, according to Caltrans.

“All of these things that we've done make it a lot easier for us and we can prepare for whatever Mother Nature throws our way — anything from a lot of rain to a seismic event,” he said. “Now we know it's going to be safe.”

Traffic-related impacts over Labor Day weekend were minimal, Williams said, because many motorists got the closure memo.

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