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Northbound 215 Freeway in San Bernardino reopens a day early

All northbound lanes of the 215 Freeway in San Bernardino were reopened Sunday afternoon after quick work by construction crews, ending the Inland Empire’s version of “Carmageddon.”

Dubbed the “Big Shift,” the weekend closure allowed crews to reconfigure traffic lanes as part of an ongoing $723-million freeway-widening project. Sections of the northbound lanes between 2nd Street and Highland were shut down beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, while the southbound lanes remained open.

The northbound lanes opened about 1 p.m. Sunday, well before the scheduled completion of 6 a.m. Monday.

“It’s great news,” said Tim Watkins, spokesman for the San Bernardino Associated Governments, the lead agency on the project.

Watkins thanked drivers for avoiding the area during the weekend closure.

“We had a lot of success with this weekend because the public responded so well,” Watkins said. “They really heeded the warnings, which really allowed us to focus on the construction.”

The overall project, which began in 2007, is expected to be finished by summer 2013. Watkins said about 80,000 drivers per day passed through that section of highway before construction began.


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