SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) --If you plan on using Interstate 280 this Memorial Day weekend, be forewarned, there are some major lane closures to tell you about. It's all part of a project to replace some very critical hinges that join the roadway. The closures start this Thursday.
This will be the first of three closures. The other closures will take place over the July 4th and Labor Day weekend.
The construction will take place on southbound I-280 near Cesar Chavez Street in San Francisco. Caltrans is replacing one major hinge that holds two pieces of concrete. Three other hinges will be replaced during the summer on northbound I-280.
"There are many hinges throughout the entire structure but only four of them got damaged," said Caltrans project manager Joon Kang.
Caltrans says earthquakes and other events may have put too much stress on the hinges. That section of Interstate 280 was built in the 1960s.
The hinges are embedded in the concrete. Workers will demolish enough of it to be able to get to the hinges, which will be replaced by new ones four times the size of the old ones.
In order to complete the southbound project, Caltrans must close several southbound on-ramps at Mariposa Street and 18th, 6th Street and Brannan, and the King Street on-ramp close to AT&T Park. Keep in mind, the Giants are in town this weekend.
But Caltrans says it's best to do it during the Memorial Day weekend.
"We did traffic counts on different days of the week, on holiday weekends, and the impact is a lot less on those weekend than it would be on a normal commute time," said Caltrans spokesperson Stephen Williams.
Pat Bechelli owns a restaurant next to the flower mart, close to one of the on-ramps that will close.
"Friday is a market day and that generally means that this market is jammed packed and it will be major chaos," he said.
Bechelli says the closure will impact his business.
Caltrans is telling drivers to take public transportation.
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