A new interchange on Highway 65 is now open and making life a little easier for commuters and other travelers who use the roadway that runs between Lincoln and Roseville and Rocklin.
The overcrossing project was done by the Placer County Department of Public Works. The traffic signals on Highway 65 at Sunset Boulevard have been removed and the interchange is now operational. The opening of the new interchange happened on Sun., March 14, and was accomplished earlier than anticipated. While additional construction work remains, the interchange is fully functional. The closure over the weekend allowed construction crews time to both remove the only traffic signal between Interstate 80 and the town of Lincoln on Highway 65, and to shift traffic lanes to the new bridge that now takes traffic over the highway.
Sunset was closed at Highway 65 for several days to facilitate the work and did not impede traffic on Highway 65, and in fact opened the roadway and improved traffic flow.
“The new interchange will reduce traffic congestion dramatically while making the highway safer,” said 2nd District Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt. “It also is of key importance in opening up the Sunset Industrial Area, the largest industrial park in Placer County. The interchange will make the area much more attractive as a job-creation center, and that is an important priority for Placer County.”
The Sunset Industrial Area is a business center created by Placer County to generate primary-wage-earner jobs and help fund county services. It covers nearly 8,000 acres along the Highway 65 corridor between the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.
The new interchange includes a six-lane overpass to take Sunset traffic over the highway and will allow for Highway 65 to eventually be widened to eight lanes with auxiliary lanes.
The interchange has a partial-cloverleaf design with a circular onramp to move westbound Sunset traffic to the highway’s southbound lanes and a circular onramp for eastbound motorists on Sunset who want to head north on the highway.
Placer County, Rocklin and Roseville are contributing funding through the Highway 65 Joint Powers Authority, an agency they created to help finance four interchanges along Highway 65.
Funding for the JPA comes from traffic-mitigation fees paid by new developments. The interchanges at Stanford Ranch Road-Galleria Boulevard, Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Blue Oaks have been built already.
Funding for the Sunset Interchange includes a significant contribution by the United Auburn Indian Community.
The county’s construction contractor on the project is RGW Construction. Psomas is providing construction management services and Mark Thomas & Co. designed the project.
The Highway 65-Sunset Interchange is separate from a much-larger project being built nearby: the Lincoln Bypass. The bypass is an 11.7-mile project being constructed west of the city of Lincoln from south of Industrial Boulevard to just past the community of Sheridan.
The partners on the Lincoln Bypass project include the California Department of Transportation, Placer County, Lincoln, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, South Placer Regional Transportation Authority and the federal government.