We have some good news and some bad news for you. First the good news, PCTPA is nearing the completion of the final environmental document for the Highway 65 Widening Project. This is an important step, because to complete such an extensive document requires a tremendous amount of technical analysis as well as design development. Now the bad news, there is currently no funding available for final design or construction. So we can’t tell you when relief will be coming.
The Highway 65 Widening Project includes widening the highway and adding auxiliary lanes to relieve existing traffic congestion, improve safety and accommodate anticipated growth in the surrounding area.
“The final environmental document is the next step towards realizing the widening of Highway 65”, said Luke McNeel-Caird, PCTPA Project Manager. “Beyond this phase, final design and construction are currently unfunded. PCTPA is continuing to explore funding sources to construct this project. However, delivering a $60 million transportation project (the anticipated total project cost) without a significant local funding source will be a challenge. We are exploring creative ways to phase the project and we are continuing to explore potential funding sources.”
One of those potential sources is the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (SPRTA), which is a Joint Powers Authority comprised of the Cities of Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville and the County of Placer that was formed to fund regional transportation projects using traffic impact fees from new development.
Some of the projects funded through SPRTA fees include the Auburn-Folsom Road Widening and improvements on Sierra College Boulevard. PCTPA also leveraged SPRTA fees to secure federal and state funding sources to complete the Lincoln Bypass, one of the largest transportation projects in the region’s history. Learn more about SPRTA here.
Unfortunately, SPRTA fees only bring in $2-3 million each year and are dependent on local development. This is one of the many reasons PCTPA worked to develop the Transportation Investment Plan and put Measure M on the ballot in 2016 to fund local projects. The measure received a strong majority (63.83%) of voter support, but it was not enough to get the required two-thirds majority vote, or 67% approval, to pass. To learn more about the Measure M results, visit: http://pctpa.net/blog/results-of-measure-m/
As mentioned in a previous blog the new State transportation funding bill (SB 1) is unlikely to be part of the solution. Of the $52 billion of anticipated revenue over the next 10 years, less than 5% will go towards traffic congestion relief projects for the entire state. And much of those dollars will end up going to communities that have their own local transportation funding source.
“PCTPA is committed to exploring all funding opportunities as we realize this is one of the top traffic issues in the region,” said McNeel-Caird.
The draft environmental document is currently available for review and comment between May 12 and June 14, 2017. Visit http://pctpa.net/projects/sr65widening/ to view the Notice of Intent and the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration and Initial Study.
Want to see how traffic will flow with the proposed improvements? Click here to watch a video simulation.