SAN PABLO -- Construction work set to begin this week on preparations for the an Interstate 80 interchange project will mean the closure of a section of El Portal Drive near Glenlock Street to relocate underground utilities.

The closure is on El Portal between Glenlock Street and the entrance ramp to westbound I-80. The freeway entrance and exit ramps will remain open, as will the sidewalk, unless specific construction work requires it to be closed for public safety.

Detour and electronic message signs will direct motorists to alternative routes.

The work is a preliminary portion of the $118 million Contra Costa Transportation Authority project to rebuild the San Pablo Dam Road interchange at I-80, long identified as a major traffic bottleneck and in the planning for years.

A dedicated project hotline phone number, 510-277-0444, can be called for those with questions about the project and construction work.

Details about the project are online at www.ccta.net/projects/project/38.