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Cautious optimism about Highway 70, Feather River Boulevard interchange
For those heading to Sacramento from Yuba City and Marysville, stoplights at a few intersections are slated to be replaced with interchanges in coming years. Here are the projects and their statuses:
Highway 99 and Elverta Boulevard, northern Sacramento County: Construction under way. Work to be completed by mid-2014.
Highway 99 and Riego Road, southern Sutter County: Funding in place. Construction to begin this year, be completed in 2015.
Highway 70 and Feather River Boulevard, southern Yuba County: County seeking money, work to possibly start this year, possible completion by late 2014.
Highway 99 and Highway 113, Sutter County: Work to begin in spring, be completed by fall 2014.
With some fingers crossed, a rabbit's foot, and maybe a bit of prayer, south Yuba County will see one of the last stoplights between Marysville and Sacramento on its way out this year.
If $7 million in state funding comes through, work could begin by late summer on a full interchange at Highway 70 and Feather River Boulevard, near Plumas Lake.
County Public Works director Mike Lee said he is cautiously optimistic the county will receive the money to do so, though a previous plan didn't call for the interchange to begin construction for another two years.
Waiting until 2015 would mean getting federal funding; instead, the Sacramento Council of Governments is working with the county to receive advance state funding as soon as this year.
Lee said the interchange is third on the state list to get money through Proposition 1B, a 2006 state road bond approved by voters. But the two projects above Yuba County on the list have potential problems, he said.
"At this point, we're finalizing in the next month or so the permitting and the right of way," Lee said, suggesting the county is ready if the money is there.
The total project, which would include an overpass for traffic on Feather River and off-ramps from the highway, is expected to cost about $14 million for construction and another $1.5 million for design, Lee said. About half of the cost will come from local sources, mostly through developer fees charged while Plumas Lake was being built in the last decade.
If work begins this year, Lee said, the interchange could be finished by the end of 2014.
Residents in Plumas Lake said they would be happy to see the stoplight disappear, citing safety among other reasons.
"I'm happy about it. That stoplight is scary in the fog," said Plumas Lake resident Valerie Messier, in response to a Facebook post about the project. "Lots of people run the light because they can't see it in heavy fog or can't stop in time."
The interchange will also help commuters who use the park-and-ride lot on the east side of the intersection.
County officials expect to hear whether funding will come through in the next few weeks, Lee said. But missing out won't mean the project goes no further, he said.
"We will continue to pursue advance funding from other sources as well," he said.