Knightly News: Better roads on the way
Hard work and coordinating with other state agencies have paid off in big money for El Dorado County, bringing in more than $21 million in the past 60 days. Most of the money will either be applied toward projects in El Dorado Hills or affect residences in the west end of El Dorado County.
El Dorado Transit Authority, in conjunction with El Dorado County Transportation Commission, received a grant to perform a Transit Needs Assessment for El Dorado Hills. This survey has been out for a number of weeks and I hope you have taken the time to make your needs known. You can take the survey by going to www.surveymonkey.com/s/EDH_Transit_Needs. If you have missed the deadline date please let me know and I will see that you receive a hard copy so your needs are included in this assessment and I will make sure they are forwarded on the commission.
It would be my goal to bring some form of a fixed transit route to El Dorado Hills and this assessment will show what needs to be done for the area.
The traffic on and condition of Francisco Drive is one of the worst in the area and between the El Dorado County Department of Transportation and El Dorado County Transportation Commission we have come up with a short-term fix and have shifted Regional Surface Transportation Program grant money around to fund the improvements.
The county will construct a right hand turn lane on Francisco Drive south bound to El Dorado Hills Boulevard; as most of us know, 90 percent of the traffic makes the turn. This additional lane will help move the flow of traffic and should help relieve the congestion at the four-way stop. There will also be road work performed on Francisco Drive from Green Valley Road to El Dorado Hills Boulevard to improve the condition of this road.
Grant funding was also obtained to design and construct a Class II bike lane on Green Valley Road between Loch Way and the signalized intersection entrance to Pleasant Grove Middle School. This bike lane will link up with other improvements east of the middle school.
The biggest grant, and most essential project, is a $15.5 million Corridor Mobility Improvement Account grant to reconstruct the west bound offramp and west bound onramp at El Dorado Hills Boulevard and Highway 50. The completion of this project will drastically reduce congestion in this area and improve traffic flow. This work will also include a dedicated High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) bypass lane and ramp metering. Construction bids have been received and construction will start in the late summer or fall of 2012. These improvements will also eliminate one of the lights at the intersection. We are also making plans to landscape this intersection as it is the gateway to El Dorado Hills.
The new Silva Valley interchange project received a $1 million State and Local Partnership Program grant and continues to move forward with construction to begin in the spring of 2013. The new HOV lane between Bass Lake and Cameron Park Drive received a $15 million grant. Construction is well under way and expected to be completed by the winter of 2012. In conjunction with all this work, Caltrans is working on an asphalt overlay on Highway 50 from Bass Lake east to Ice House Road.
I apologize for all the construction work and delays that we all have to endure to get these much-needed improvements in. County and EDCTC staff worked diligently and relentlessly pursued the few and far between opportunities for grant moneys in these hard economic times. They also understood the importance of taking advantage of the favorable bidding atmosphere and worked hard to meet all the deadlines in place. Although it will seem as though we are constantly under construction for a while, when completed, these vital upgrades will enhance our community.
I welcome any ideas or questions you may have. Please send them to me via e-mail at [email protected] and I will make sure that staff takes a serious look at them.
Until next time, stay cool, stay well and God Bless.