OAK HILLS (CBSLA.com) — There isn’t going to be much passing on the Cajon Pass starting at 10 p.m. Friday.
KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports construction in the Cajon Pass is already choking traffic – and it’s about to get worse. Residents in the area and anyone heading to places like Las Vegas, be warned.
Officials are already calling it “The Cajon Crawl.”
Drivers are apparently already aware that traffic is going to be a nightmare as officials begin a series of weekend lane closures to resurface several lanes.
“I’m actually going back right now – I don’t even live up here. Just came to drop off my son,” said Rachel Major.
She has family in the high desert but told Wait that the impending lane closures have her re-thinking about a return trip any time soon.
“Definitely don’t plan on coming back up here – for a little bit, at least a week,” she said.
The closures begin tonight starting at Highway 138. Two, northbound lanes will be closed for a mile at a time. Southbound lanes are not affected.
“It’s for rehabilitation of the I-15 for this 5-mile stretch of the Cajon Pass,” said Philip Havins of Caltrans.
The closed lanes will reopen 3 p.m. on Monday.
High desert residents say they’re going to make other plans to avoid delays.
“We’re going to try and avoid it as much as we can, so it’s not such a hassle for my ex to drive up here deal with all the traffic we have right now,” said Michael Emerson.
Drivers heading to Vegas were already taken aback by the busy traffic even before the closures have begun.
“Oh, it was crazy. Yeah, we’re hoping it’s not all the way to Vegas,” said one driver.
KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz picked up the story Friday evening.
She spoke to drivers already frustrated at the pace they were going.
“Oh it’s going to be a crawl — you guys are going to be dead stopped,” said Wayne Dines, a Hesperia man.
Cruz says the work will start at Kenwood Avenue and move north towards Oak Hill Road.
Cars were already starting to bunch up before 10 p.m.
“It was so hectic. We moved like 10 miles per hour,” said Carolyn Park who is on her way to Vegas, “and we all have to use the restroom.”
Gas stations and restaurants along the way should expect an increase in business.
“The traffic was going really slow, so we got off to get some food,” said Andy Jones who was with his family on their way to Mammoth.
CHP Officer Steve Carapia advises drivers to have their vehicles in tip-top shape.
“It will be hot this weekend,” Carapia told Cruz, “so the last thing we want is for you guys to disable in lanes and cause a little more traffic.”
Caltrans says they expect to wrap up this work in five weekends — targeting the first weekend of September for completion.