On June 23, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) officially approved the distribution of $20 million in Proposition 1B Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) 2011 project cost savings to fund Phase 2a of the State Route 65 Lincoln Bypass project. Currently in its first phase, the project is constructing a new 11.7 mile road starting at Industrial Boulevard that moves traffic around the City of Lincoln, and will connect back to the existing Highway 65 near Sheridan. Once complete, the project will relieve congestion, improve safety on existing SR 65 and provide for a regional and interregional traffic solution to accommodate projected traffic volumes through the year 2035.
Phase 1 of the Lincoln Bypass which is estimated at over $290 million, is the construction of a 4 lane segment from Industrial Avenue to Nelson Lane (approximately 3 miles), and 2 lanes from Nelson Lane to Sheridan. Phase 2a is the construction of 2 more lanes, making it a full 4 lane road from Industrial Avenue to Wise Road. The final portion, Phase 2b, is estimated at approximately $30 million and not yet funded, and is construction of the final additional 2 lane segment from Wise Road to Sheridan, completing a full 4 lane expressway.
“The Lincoln Bypass has long been one of the region’s most critical transportation improvement priorities. We are tremendously grateful to the California Transportation Commission for making this just as high a priority for the state,” said Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) Executive Director Celia McAdam. “We’re now seeing the results of decades of planning, collaboration, and hard work from multiple agencies in this key project for traffic relief in the region. Making the Bypass four lanes to Wise Road will save Placer County residents 834 daily vehicle hours of delay and $50 million in travel time over 20 years.”
The Bypass’ first phase generated more than $32 million in construction cost savings, with nearly $25 million put back into the CMIA cost savings pot. The remaining $7 million in cost savings was returned to local developer impact fees. The PCTPA and Caltrans District 3 team’s history of fast construction starts and strong budgetary discipline well positioned them to compete for and win the CMIA funding for Phase 2a.
McAdam noted that, while this award is a tremendous coup for the county, there is much yet to be done. “As critical as the Lincoln Bypass is, Placer has many other major transportation needs we need to tackle. Keeping Placer moving means we have to work on creative options for local transportation funding so that we can continue to compete for and win future state and federal funds.”