Update, May 1: A seven-week closure of the Gilman Street approach to Interstate 80 will start at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The closure, between Fourth and Second streets, is scheduled to last through June 21. Drivers will be able to access businesses on the closed portion of Gilman, as well as those on Fourth and Second streets, such as the Berkeley Transfer Station and Recycling Center.
Original story, April 21: Drivers who use Gilman Street to get to Interstate 80 might want to take another route for the next couple of months, as construction crews remake one of Berkeley’s most notorious intersections.
Gilman Street will be closed between Fourth Street and Second Street in West Berkeley from 11:30 p.m. Sunday through 6 p.m. Wednesday, Caltrans officials warned.
It’s a prelude to a longer closure that will last through the rest of this spring: The same stretch of Gilman will be shut down from May 2 to June 21.
Drivers will be detoured a block south to Camelia Street to get around the closure, and Caltrans warned surrounding streets are likely to see more traffic and congestion. The highway agency is asking trucks bound for Interstate 80 to avoid Gilman and instead use Buchanan Street in Albany to the north, or University Avenue to the south.
Fourth and Second streets will remain open in both directions.
The closures are part of the multi-year $75 million project redesigning the chaotic intersection drivers must navigate to exit or enter Interstate 80 at Gilman Street.
Plans include two new roundabouts to better manage car traffic, safety improvements where Gilman crosses the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge that has taken shape over the busy freeway. Work on the bridge is scheduled to be completed this year, while the rest of the interchange project is expected to wrap up next year.