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Caltrans began shifting traffic Friday afternoon to newly constructed lanes that are part of the Napa roundabout project at First Street and Highway 29.

The switch was to have happened Thursday, but was delayed while guard rails were installed on the new approach to the freeway overpass, said John Ferons, a senior civil engineer with the City of Napa.

Caltrans is closing the Highway 29 northbound First Street off-ramp as well as the First Street loop on-ramp, with reopening likely at the end of November, officials said.

One reopening was scheduled for Friday: the northbound freeway on-ramp that has been closed to westbound First Street traffic.

The new closures will last through the end of November to accommodate construction of one of three roundabouts planned for west of downtown Napa.

Motorists wanting to get off the freeway for downtown or west Napa will be detoured north to the off-ramps at Lincoln Avenue. Those who want to go to downtown will be directed to return south on California Boulevard and follow the signs to Second Street.

Motorists who used to use the loop northbound on-ramp will likely want to cross the freeway to Second Street, then follow the signs north to the freeway entrance at Lincoln, city officials said. 

Other closures, including California Boulevard through traffic at First Street, are already in effect.

Motorists are encouraged to use alternative routes and allow more time to get to their destinations, Caltrans said in a news release. Delays are expected in the construction area and drivers should exercise caution.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.