Public invited to celebrate dedication of Lincoln Blvd. with special downtown events and promotions

By: Judy Bennett Special to The News Messenger
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By Judy Bennett Special to The News Messenger After a 23-year delay resulting from the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked northern California on Oct. 17, 1989, the long-awaited Lincoln Bypass will open soon to traffic. That will allow Lincoln’s main street to return to the city of Lincoln’s control. Following what is commonly referred to as the longest 20 seconds of uncertainty experienced in this region’s recent history, all transportation funds were funneled to the Bay Area to meet the critical need to rebuild the major infrastructure damaged during the 7.1 magnitude quake. During the decade that followed, Lincoln was poised to become the fastest-growing city in the state, and efforts to regain funding for the bypass were persistently advanced. At 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency will host the grand opening ceremony of the Highway 65 Lincoln Bypass at the Ferrari Ranch Road on-ramp. The roadway will officially open to traffic on Monday, Oct. 8. While the official agencies have been completing their work on the project, a dedicated volunteer committee made up of Lincoln-area residents and business owners has been planning an event suitable to celebrate this historic milestone for Lincoln. “The downtown business community has been preparing to welcome customers to a more pedestrian-friendly downtown by offering special promotions and activities showcasing the benefits and charm of Lincoln’s historic downtown,” said Wayne Sisneroz, co-chairman of the Downtown Marketing/Branding Committee. “We’re expecting to meet a lot of new friends once the bypass is opened and people experience the ease of getting to the local shops and businesses.” This Lincoln Boulevard dedication celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. with events and activities for participants of all ages. Lincoln Boulevard (formerly Highway 65) will be closed from the Gateway shopping center to 7th Street to all non-event traffic from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 with alternate routes designated for through traffic. Celebration events along the newly-dedicated Lincoln Boulevard will include: Dedication and unveiling of new street signage – 9 a.m. at First Street Parades, including pet parade, from First Street to Sixth Street Classic Rods and Relics Car Parade – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chalk block for the Kids Kid Zone in Beermann Plaza Live band Bill the Magician Vaudeville troupe Vendor and craft booths Discover the Charm! Downtown Merchants, restaurants and businesses open all day with special promotions. For more information, call 303-3661. Judy Bennett is a past president of the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce.