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Highway 65 bypass to open by fall

Construction began in 2008
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Editor’s note: This story is the first in a series about the Highway 65 Bypass, exploring how it will affect residents, what Lincoln businesses thrived because of Highway 65 traveling through Lincoln and what long-time residents say about the bypass. With major construction work stopped during winter, the Highway 65 bypass is expected to open by late summer or early fall. That’s according to representatives from both Caltrans and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA). “Right now, for the most part, we are in winter suspension on activities like paving and earth moving,” said Caltrans spokesman Mark Dinger on Monday. “There is some electrical work going on right now. We are installing lighting and conduit.” Dinger said major construction could start as soon as mid-April. The start of that depends on “a clear forecast for more than a week.” Bypass contractors are DaSilva Gates from Dublin and FCI Constructors from Benicia, according to Dinger. “Our major work that we have left is the connections,” Dinger said. “The final paving needs to be completed.” Those connections are the northern connection north of Sheridan and the southern connection where the 20MPH curve is currently located, Dinger said. They will connect existing Highway 65 to the bypass. Once the bypass is complete, Dinger said, the temporary 20MPH curve will no longer be in use. The length of the bypass is 11.7 miles, according to Placer County Transportation Planning Agency executive director Celia McAdam. She said the entire length needs several layers of rubberized asphalt applied before the bypass can be driven on. “The rubber your tire actually hits is going to be rubberized asphalt,” McAdam said. “You can’t do that (paving) until the weather is warm enough for it to set.” McAdam said the bypass opening date “is not set in stone.” “At this point, the target date is the end of August but it could be earlier; it could be later,” McAdam said. “It could be anywhere from July, August or September.” Construction of the bypass started in 2008, McAdam said, and was first proposed by Caltrans in 1973. McAdam said Caltrans and the city of Lincoln have been “key participants” in making the bypass happen and “key people” include Lincoln City Councilman Tom Cosgrove, California Transportation Commission member Jim Earp and Caltrans resident engineer Carl Berexa. “Tom Cosgrove, who’s been on my board and on the City Council for many years, has been working on this and obviously keeping the project at the forefront,” McAdam said. “(Carl Berexa) is out there on the job, coordinating all of the construction and making sure problems are taken care of, keeping on schedule. He’s done a fabulous job.” A ribbon cutting and a parade will commemorate the bypass opening, according to McAdam. The bypass is being completed in two phases, according to the Highway 65 Bypass website, lincolnbypass.com, which was written by Placer County Transportation Planning Agency staff. Funding for the bypass mainly came from federal and state agencies, according to Cosgrove. The first phase, which has an estimated cost of $290 million, was the construction of four lanes from Industrial Avenue to Nelson Lane, and two lanes north of that to Sheridan, according to the website. The second phase will be done in two parts. Phase 2a is the construction of two additional lanes from Nelson Lane to West Wise Road, according to the website, and construction will begin in the summer of 2012. Phase 2b is the construction of two additional lanes from West Wise Road to Sheridan, and is currently unfunded, according to the website.