The existing I-80/SR 65 interchange was constructed in late 1985. Because of the region’s growth over the last two decades, the interchange and the I-80 and SR65 corridors are experiencing increasing congestion. The high traffic demands during commute hours and the weekend recreational trips congest the project area on a regular basis, causing unacceptable conditions.
The overall project consists of a number of steps or phases:
- Project Study Report (PSR)
- Project Approval & Environmental Document (PA&ED)
- Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition
We are currently in the PA&ED phase. During this phase, we will identify the needs and objectives, the issues, the constraints, and the impacts of a proposed project. By evaluating the site conditions and receiving input from public agencies and community members, a series of proposed alternatives (proposed improvements) can be identified and evaluated.
What is a Project Study Report (PSR)?
A PSR (also referred to as a Project Initiation Document) is a preliminary engineering report. It typically consists of a preliminary purpose and need statement, initial alternatives, system planning, potential environmental issues, traffic analysis, and estimated costs. The PSR’s main purpose is to start a project.
Once the PSR is approved, the project moves into the PA&ED phase. The PSR for this project was completed and approved in 2009 and the PA&ED phase has begun.
What is the Project Approval & Environmental Document (PA&ED) phase and what will it accomplish?
During the PA&ED phase, more detailed studies including traffic analysis, environmental assessment, and public outreach will be prepared to further refine the information developed in the PSR. These additional studies will help to address key questions:
- What are the needs that the project will address?
- What are the goals or objectives for the project?
- What improvements are required to meet the needs and accomplish the goals of the project?
- What are the impacts of the improvements on the surroundings?
- How can we implement the needed project to minimize the impacts on the surroundings?
The two documents developed as part of this phase are a Project Report (PR) and an Environmental Document (ED). The PR studies the design improvements needed. The ED studies the impacts on the project’s surroundings and identifies mitigation necessary to avoid or minimize impacts. Together, they document decisions and recommendations for design and construction of the project and will:
- further identify the project’s need (problem) and purpose (solution),
- detail the results of the traffic analysis,
- analyze multiple alternatives and recommend one preferred solution,
- summarize environmental impacts and recommended mitigations,
- outline project scheduling and funding, and
- identify buildable construction project(s) for the available funds
After the PA&ED phase, the project will move forward to Final Design and Right-of-Way Acquisition.
How will alternatives be evaluated?
Initially a broad range of concepts were identified, including the previous PSR alternatives. Then a screening process was used to assess or “measure” each proposed concept for how well it meets the project requirements. From this screening process, a reasonable range of alternatives was identified. These alternatives and their potential impacts are being analyzed in the environmental document. This analysis is being evaluated based upon environmental and community impacts, cost, and function and is being compared on how well each accomplishes this for the overall project.
Who decides which alternative – if any- is selected?
The selected alternative will be based upon consensus. The alternative would have to meet Caltrans’ technical requirements to improve traffic flow and safety, but also have to meet the State and Federal environmental standards, and finally, PCTPA and the local jurisdictions must agree in order for the alternative to be funded.
Didn’t Caltrans already complete the work to design and build the interchange improvements?
No. Caltrans completed the first phase of the project development process – the PSR. The overall phases for the project and what is entailed is explained above.
What work was done in the PSR?
The PSR performed preliminary investigations (based upon available information) to establish the project. It outlined a number of potential interchange and corridor improvements including:
- Constructing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes (2-lanes, one in each direction of travel) to connect directly between the I-80 HOV lanes and SR65:
- Eastbound I-80 to Northbound SR 65
- Southbound SR 65 to Westbound I-80
- Constructing HOV lanes on SR 65 from the I-80/SR 65 Interchange to past Galleria Boulevard / Stanford Ranch Road Interchange
- Replacing the Eastbound I-80 to Northbound SR 65 “loop” ramp with a more direct and higher speed “flyover” ramp
The PSR also lists several items to be addressed during the PA&ED phase. These include:
- Completing a detailed traffic analysis.
- Analyzing, depending upon the results of the traffic analysis, the need for and impacts of ramp metering on the freeway to freeway ramp connections.
- Determining, based on the traffic analysis, whether the Taylor Road Interchange would become a bottleneck in the future and, if so, identifying design options.
These items are all a part of the PA&ED phase underway now.
In the PSR’s preliminary traffic analysis, it identified that in the future the Taylor Road Interchange may restrict traffic flow resulting in the possibility of a bottleneck on I-80. The interchanges at Eureka Road, Taylor Road, and SR 65 are very close to one another. The PSR indicated that based on a more detailed traffic analysis – to be completed with the PA&ED phase – the Taylor Road Interchange may need to be closed. The current PA&ED alternatives include several options for the Taylor Road Interchange.
Are there any anticipated impacts to the neighboring properties?
The purpose of the environmental process now underway is to identify the potential impacts of various alternatives so that fully informed decisions can be made. While there may be impacts resulting from the project, significant ones will be identified along with feasible measures to avoid, reduce, or mitigate effects.
How long will it take to complete the project?
A typical schedule for this type of project is approximately 4 years to complete the PA&ED phase and an additional 4-5 years to complete the design and construction phases. However, because of funding uncertainties, it is expected that the project will be designed and constructed in phases as money is available. The time to complete the overall project may take 20 years or more.
How will it be funded?
The PA&ED phase (current work effort) is funded by $3.9 milion in construction savings from the I-80 Bottleneck project. To further fund work on this project $5 million in future developer impact fees has been identified, though the timing for availability of this funding is unknown. State and federal discretionary funds – should they come available – will also be pursued.
How can the public voice their opinion?
PCTPA is planning several public workshops/meetings throughout the PA&ED phase. At each, the project team will present the latest information regarding the design, environmental process, and schedule and will gather input from community members. The community can voice their opinions at these meetings and through other means, such as sending in comment cards, visiting the project website, and using project contact information provided on the website.
Why is PCTPA involved?
PCTPA is the regional transportation planning agency for Placer County. Its member jurisdictions are Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin, Roseville, and Placer County (exclusive of the Tahoe Basin).
PCTPA is the project’s local sponsor because it is providing funding for the PA&ED phase. In 2005, PCTPA received $61.1 million for the I-80 Bottleneck project through Roseville. This project has realized significant savings during construction. The PCTPA Board reallocated this savings to a number of other I-80 interchange improvement projects. Approximately $3.9 million is available to this project for PA&ED. PCTPA retained the CH2M HILL consultant team to complete this work.
What role will Caltrans play?
Because the project is on the State Highway System, Caltrans is the project lead and the owner of the facility. They will be responsible for ensuring the PA&ED phase complies with federal/state requirements. PCTPA will also actively encourage input from local jurisdictions (Lincoln, Rocklin, Roseville, and Placer County), along with interested organizations and individuals.
Why are consultants being used for this work? How were they selected? What are their qualifications?
The federal funding which provided the project’s initial funding comes with significant procedural requirements for its use. For this reason, PCTPA used a 2-step process in accordance with Caltrans Local Assistance Procedures Manual to conduct a five-month Request for Qualifications (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), interview, and consultant selection process. Over 70 firms were notified about the work. Eight teams submitted statements of qualifications. Six teams were shortlisted and invited to prepare proposals. From the proposals, five teams were invited to interviews. CH2M HILL was identified as the top-ranked team because it provided the right mix of engineering expertise, environmental experience, and a comprehensive public outreach program.
CH2M HILL – Project management & engineering
Fehr & Peers – Traffic modeling & forecasting
Drake Haglan & Associates – Engineering support, Quality Control (QC) & agency coordination
ICF International – Environmental documentation
AIM Consulting – Public outreach
Blackburn Consulting – Geotechnical/hazardous materials
Universal Field Services – ROW & relocation
REY Engineers – Survey & mapping
WRECO – Hydrology & drainage
PCTPA and CH2M HILL signed a contract in February 2011.
- Phase 1 — a 1-mile segment for an eastbound auxiliary lane between Riverside Avenue / Auburn Boulevard & Douglas Boulevard interchanges. Construction cost — $9.5 million. Completed 3 months ahead of schedule in August 2007.
- Phase 2 — a 2.8-mile segment for carpool and auxiliary lanes in both directions from Placer/Sacramento County line to Eureka Road. Construction Cost — $31.2 million. Started in May 2008 and was opened to the public in October 2011.
- Phase 3 — a 2.2-mile segment for auxiliary and carpool lanes in both directions from Eureka Road to about 1 mile east of SR 65. Construction cost — $45.3 million. Work was started in May 2009 and was opened to the public in October 2011.
I-80/Eureka Road Interchange Improvements
The City of Roseville is the project lead. Improvements to be made to on- and off- ramps at Eureka and along Taylor & Sunrise. Construction cost — $9 million. Construction work began in 2011 and was completed in 2013.
SR 65 Lincoln Bypass
11.7-mile, four-lane facility west of the existing highway from Lincoln Boulevard to Sheridan. Project phasing is:
- Phase 1 – a 3.5-mile segment of 4-lane freeway from Lincoln Boulevard to Nelson Lane and 2 lane expressway from Nelson Lane to Sheridan. Construction cost — $290 million. Project was open to the public in October 2012.
- Phase 2A – extends the 4-lane freeway for 4.5 miles from Nelson Lane to north of West Wise Road. Construction cost — $23 million. The construction began in May 2012 and is anticipated to be open to the public in 2014.
- Phase 2B – extends the 4-lane freeway for 3.7 miles from north of West Wise Road to Sheridan. This phase is currently unfunded. Construction cost estimate is $27.5 million.
SR 65 Widening Project
Caltrans completed a Project Study Report (PSR) in 2013 for widening SR 65 from north of Galleria Boulevard in the City of Roseville to Lincoln Boulevard in the City of Lincoln. PCTPA is currently working on the PA&ED phase of this project.
I-80/Rocklin Road Interchange
The City of Rocklin is proposing improvements to be made to Rocklin Road and the on- and off-ramps at the I-80 interchange. A feasibility study has been completed for the project and the PSR was approved in August 2012.
I-80 Auxiliary Lanes
PCTPA is beginning the PA&ED phase to construct auxiliary lanes (a lane connecting an interchange on-ramp to the next interchange off-ramp) on westbound I-80 from Douglas Boulevard to Riverside Avenue, and on eastbound I-80 from SR65 to Rocklin Road.