Caltrans is closing a portion of the MacArthur Maze tonight that was damaged in a fiery explosion earlier this year to repair areas of the road surface that have cracked and flaked over the last five months, officials said.
The ramp that connects westbound Interstate Highway 80 to southbound Interstate Highway 880 will be closed from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Tuesday to allow crews from Caltrans, which oversees state highways, to patch cracks in the roadway’s polyester concrete finish, Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.
Last spring, a gasoline tanker crashed on I-880, resulting in an explosion that damaged the roadway and caused an Interstate Highway 580 ramp overhead to collapse. I-880 reopened a few days after the crash, while I-580 was repaired in 25 days — much earlier than state officials estimated.
Construction crews, from Rancho Cordova-based C.C. Myers Inc., put an overlay of polyester concrete on the I-880 road surface, Haus said. It is a material that has been used only in the last five to 10 years, he said. It has also been used on the Bay Bridge and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, which have also experienced the same cracking and flaking as I-880.
Haus said the damage has nothing to do with the type — or speed — of the repairs to I-880 that occurred five months ago.
“It’s one of those idiosyncrasies,” he said. There’s “no firm explanation. It’s more a case of what happens with polyester concrete than this particular project.”
Haus said too much moisture on the freeway deck when the material was applied could be the cause, although it’s speculation.