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Bypass set to open Oct. 8

Celebration to happen within weeks
By: Patty McAlpin Lincoln News Messenger reporter
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On your mark. Get set. Go. Two of the most likely drivers to be among the first on the Lincoln Bypass when it opens in the wee hours of Oct. 8 are Lincoln Councilman Tom Cosgrove and Placer County Transportation Planning Agency’s executive director Celia McAdam. “I hope to be among a small group who may be out there. I may not be first but I will be among the first to drive the new alignment officially,” Cosgrove said. “Maybe Celia might be out there. She’s done a tremendous job. I got the momentum. She got the funds. We teamed up and it worked.” Cosgrove said he spent 17 years on City Council working on this project. He was first elected in 1994. “I’m really looking forward to this happening,” Cosgrove said. “It feels good.” Excitement is mounting for McAdam, too. “It’s such a big deal,” said McAdam, who started working on the bypass project in the early ‘90s. “I’m very excited. My entire career with PCTPA (Placer County Transportation Planning Agency), I’ve worked on this. I plan to be one of the first to drive on the bypass. You don’t get this kind of opportunity very many times in a career. You’ve got to do it when you can.” Placer County Transportation Planning Agency is hosting a grand-opening ceremony for the Highway 65 Lincoln Bypass at 10 a.m. Oct. 5. Completion of the $325 million project was accomplished through partnerships between the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Caltrans, the city of Lincoln, Placer County, the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority and the federal government, according to Placer County Transportation Planning Agency officials. The Lincoln Bypass provides a new thoroughfare for Highway 65 through the Lincoln area. The 11.7-mile bypass begins at Industrial Boulevard, moves traffic around the city of Lincoln and connects back to the existing Highway 65 in Sheridan. “It is phenomenal to have such a large-scale infrastructure project built in Placer County,” McAdam said. “The project was possible because of the support between federal, state and local jurisdictions.” Placer County Transportation Planning Agency officials said the bypass will improve regional connections between residential areas, employment centers, and major commercial centers as well as improve interregional goods movement and reduce congestion. The bypass also is expected to improve safety, traffic mobility and address current and future demands between the city of Lincoln and the town of Sheridan. Lincoln Mayor Spencer Short anticipates Caltrans will relinquish G Street, which will become Lincoln Boulevard, “sometime next year.” The timing of the traffic signals along G Street in town will be changed after Caltrans relinquishes the road to the city, according to Short. Caltrans spokesman Gilbert Mohtes-Chan said the earliest relinquishment could happen is late spring 2013. Cosgrove anticipates the signs in town will be changed to read Lincoln Boulevard the weekend before the bypass officially opens. “Between Friday and Monday (Oct. 5-8), there is going to be a flurry of activity,” Cosgrove said. “The main construction is completed. There are just a lot of details.” Plans for the Lincoln Boulevard Dedication Ceremony set for Oct. 20 are under way. A parade from Auburn Ravine to Seventh Street is scheduled to take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Events will include live entertainment and a car show.