Roundabouts planned for Bell Road, Interstate 80 interchange

Published on April 11, 2018

Two new roundabouts are planned for Interstate 80’s Bell Road interchange in North Auburn, with the Placer County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approving $200,000 in funding to kickstart the safety and congestion improvement project.

A partnership with Caltrans, the estimated $7.5 million project is expected to be funded from several sources, with a majority coming from federal programs.

“These roundabouts will bring important safety and traffic improvements, without a doubt,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “But because roundabouts reduce stop-and-start traffic, they also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So they offer serious environmental benefits, as well."

Currently, traffic at the interchange is controlled by stop signs, slowing the flow of traffic at two increasingly busy intersections. The project would include the nearby Bell Road and Bowman Road intersection in the roundabout design and remove the existing traffic signal there.

“North Auburn has seen a lot of growth in recent years and so this interchange is seeing more and more traffic,” said Placer County Department of Public Works and Facilities Engineering Manager Richard Moorehead. “Roundabouts are a proven way to improve safety and keep traffic moving, so this will make things a lot easier for everyone going forward."

With the board’s approval Tuesday, the project will now move toward preliminary engineering analysis and an environmental study, with a draft of the plan expected to be ready for public review by summer 2019.

If the project is approved, construction is expected to begin in 2022.