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Construction confusion: Barriers will divide part of Highway 50 in Sacramento starting Friday morning - what you need to know

WB Highway 50 construction primed to give unprepared drivers fits and starts
WB Highway 50 construction primed to give unprepared drivers fits and starts 02:51

SACRAMENTO -- Your morning commute will look different starting Friday if you travel through Downtown Sacramento using Highway 50 headed West. 

A highly trafficked stretch leading up to the Interstate-5 interchange will be backed up for months as crews work on pavement improvements. It's part of the Fix 50 highway enhancement project.

Concrete barriers started going up late Thursday night that will divide Highway 50 right down the middle.  

The construction zone starts at the 26th Street exit on Highway 50 Westbound. 

Drivers exiting to 16th Street, 10th Street, or North and Southbound I-5 will have to stay in the two lanes to the right of the concrete divider, or they'll miss those exits entirely. 

Anyone continuing on Highway 50 to West Sacramento or Davis needs to stay in the far left lanes. 

The main message from Caltrans: expect delays.

"It's more than likely not only going to be felt on 50 but more importantly on Northbound 99 and Southbound business 80," said Dennis Keaton, spokesperson for Caltrans District 3. "We're trying to get a better highway built. Want things to be nice, smoother, more convenient."

If you can avoid HWY 50 and take I-5 instead, do it.

Plus, try to stay off this stretch during peak commute hours.

"That's gonna be helpful in trying to avoid these delays," said Keaton. 

Another reminder: slow down. CHP will be enforcing the new speed limit of 55 miles per hour 24/7.

This project is expected to last 2 to 3 months. Anyone heading in to work early in the morning is advised to leave a little earlier than usual as everyone navigates these changes for the first time. 

More detailed information on the traffic changes can be found here.

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