Beginning Monday, Feb. 8, Highway 84 in Woodside will be fully shut down between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays until the end of the month for planned tree removal work by Caltrans, according to a Feb. 3 traffic advisory from the agency.
The fuel break project, in coordination with the Woodside Fire Protection District and funded by a U.S. Fire Service grant, will lead to the closure of the major thoroughfare during weekday work hours through Feb. 26, according to Caltrans. Highway 84 will be closed to traffic between Portola and Fox Hill roads, with work estimated to take two to three weeks. No work will take place on holidays or weekends.
Crews will be removing 25 eucalyptus and two Monterey pine trees "identified to be hazardous to the traveling public due to concerns over falling limbs and fire danger," RocQuel Johnson, Caltrans District 4 public information branch chief, said in an email Wednesday.
For people traveling eastbound on Highway 84, the detour will be at Skyline Boulevard to Kings Mountain Road to get back on the highway, according to Caltrans. For westbound motorists, the detour will be at Kings Mountain Road, turning left at Skyline and back on Highway 84.
Caltrans had announced Feb. 1 that the project's work hours would be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, but work hours were revised Wednesday afternoon "to accommodate morning commuters and limit inconvenience to the traveling public," Johnson said.
Woodside Town Manager Kevin Bryant said in an email Wednesday morning that a weekslong full closure of Highway 84 "is very uncommon," and added the town was lobbying Caltrans to allow one lane to remain open while crews complete the tree removal work.
"The closure would have a major impact on residents of Woodside and the surrounding areas who would have to add substantial time to make routine trips," Bryant said.
Asked why the full road closure is necessary, Johnson said it's a move to protect motorist safety and accommodate equipment necessary for the project, "including one crane with a 26' wide footprint when its stability outriggers are fully extended," she said.
"The closure will also protect the public from work zone hazards created by the volume of material marked for removal from certain sections of the project area," Johnson said.