The Placer County Board of Supervisors took a small, but important step in planning for the Placer Parkway Tuesday.
Placer Parkway is a proposed 15-mile thoroughfare that will link Highway 65 in West Placer to Highways 99 and 70 in southern Sutter County. At the eastern end, the starting point will be a new Highway 65 interchange between the existing interchanges at Sunset Boulevard and Twelve Bridges Drive.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the board agreed to amend the Placer County General Plan to show the preferred route corridor for Placer Parkway. The board action will help protect the proposed corridor while Placer County and other local agencies work to line up funding and complete planning and design work on the project.
The route corridor supported by the board Tuesday was designated as the preferred route for Placer Parkway in 2009 by the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority (SPRTA), a joint powers agency comprised of Placer County and the cities of Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville.
Acting as the lead agency for the Placer Parkway Corridor Preservation Project, SPRTA studied five potential routes for the parkway before selecting the northernmost alternative as the preferred route. In cooperation with state and federal regulatory agencies, SPRTA evaluated the five routes on such issues as growth-inducing impacts and potential adverse impacts on wetlands and endangered species.
Work is scheduled to begin next year on preliminary engineering drawings and environmental review for the segment of Placer Parkway from Highway 65 to Foothills Blvd North.
The Placer Parkway is needed to accommodate the ongoing growth of West Placer. It will improve access from Placer County to the Interstate 5 corridor, downtown Sacramento and the Sacramento International Airport while helping relieve congestion on Interstate 80. The Placer Parkway will ultimately be a six-lane highway with freeway-like interchanges.
The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency began work on the Placer Parkway in 2002. Its member agencies are Placer County, the town of Loomis and the cities of Auburn, Colfax, Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville. The PCTPA provides administrative and staff support for SPRTA.