Hwy. 50 construction to wrap up this fall
The El Dorado County Department of Transportation expects construction on the $27.7 million median widening of U.S. 50 thorough El Dorado Hills to be completed in fall 2011.
Completion of the 4-mile long project will add carpool lanes in each direction of U.S. 50 from the county line to Bass Lake Road, widen Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard under U.S. 50, replace all of the bridges that carry U.S 50 traffic over Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard, and widen the bridges that carry U.S. 50 traffic over Silva Valley Parkway and Bass Lake Road.
Bids for the project were opened on Oct. 30. Award of the project occurred on Nov. 18, 2008 after being delayed for two weeks by protests filed by two of the bidders on the project.
Construction was planned to last 22 months, not accounting for weather delays. The long project duration was primarily driven by the replacement of the U.S. 50 bridges over Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard. In order to maintain the pre-construction condition of two through lanes on both directions of U.S. 50 as well as the use of the eastbound U.S. 50 loop off ramp throughout construction, the replacement of the U.S. 50 mainline and off ramp bridges had to be phased over three separate stages of construction. This resulted in an original completion date of Oct. 22, 2010.
Weather delays in early 2009 and during the winters of 2009-10 and 2010-11 pushed the project’s completion date back to fall of 2011.
Construction started on Dec. 28, 2008. Shortly after the project started, $20 million of funding for the project was thrown into limbo during the state budget crisis of early 2009. In order to keep the project moving while protecting the county from the possibility that the state might pull its funding, the county suspended the critical path work on U.S. 50 but allowed the contractor to perform work on the bridges at Latrobe Road and at Silva Valley Parkway. This allowed for work to continue on the project, but the completion date was pushed back by two months.
A summary of project milestones completed each season is listed below:
- Most of the U.S. 50 roadway median widening work between the County line and Bass Lake Road.
- Construction of the first stage of the new U.S. 50 bridge over Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard.
- Construction of the widening of the U.S. 50 bridge over Silva Valley Parkway.
- Demolition and replacement of the eastbound U.S. 50 bridge at Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard.
- Demolition and replacement of the westbound U.S. 50 bridge at Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard.
- Demolition and replacement of the eastbound U.S. 50 loop off-ramp bridge at Latrobe Road.
- After additional funding from the State became available, the County executed a $4.5 million contract change order that added the following items to the project’s 2010 construction season:
- Roadway median widening of eastbound U.S. 50 from Bass Lake Road to one mile east of Bass Lake Road.
- Widening of the U.S. 50 bridge over Bass Lake Road.
- Widening and improvements to Latrobe Road. Now that all of the U.S. 50 bridges over Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard have been replaced with longer bridges, work under the bridges to widen the surface street can commence.
- Relocation of traffic onto the new U.S. 50 eastbound loop off-ramp. This will require a full closure of the existing U.S. 50 eastbound loop off-ramp over the weekend of June 3, 2011.
- Installation of the top layer of asphalt concrete on U.S. 50.
Once completed, the project will provide a new carpool lane in each direction from the county line to Bass Lake Road, as well as a new mixed flow lane on eastbound U.S. 50 through the Latrobe Road interchange. The addition of lanes on Latrobe Road and El Dorado Hills Boulevard under U.S. 50 will allow for significant improvements to surface street traffic flow through the interchange.
DOT appreciates the public’s patience during this long construction project. Any questions regarding the project may be directed to John Kahling, deputy director of DOT’s Construction Division. Kahling may be reached at (530) 642-4974.
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