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Residents can voice opinions Nov. 15 about Nelson Lane Bridge Replacement project

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Residents are invited to a public meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 to give their opinions about the Nelson Lane Bridge Replacement project.

The meeting will take place at Lincoln Church of Christ, 790 Nelson Lane.

City officials say the bridge replacement project is necessary to accommodate traffic demands spurred by the Lincoln Bypass opening.

Caltrans built the main highway. The city is responsible for the construction of connector roads. This road, although technically located in Placer County, is within the city of Lincoln’s sphere of influence.

Nelson Lane is a narrow, two lane roadway without shoulders that narrows further to two 10-foot lanes across the bridge over Markham Ravine. There is one lane in each direction. The road droops down over Markham Ravine on the bridge constructed in 1940.

Given the narrowness, the bridge is classified by Caltrans as functionally obsolete and requires replacement. During peak storms, the roadway and bridge are overtopped by flood waters, further warranting a bridge replacement with a raised roadway, according to city officials.

“This project is long overdue,” Lincoln Mayor Spencer Short said Wednesday. “We are looking forward to it being completed because it creates the best and most direct connection between the airport and industrial buildings and the state highway system.”

Short said the Nelson Lane project will help provide opportunities for significant employment centers and business to business sales as well as generate more airport/aircraft related businesses.

The city is preparing to reconstruct Nelson Lane between Lincoln Bypass and Nicolaus Road, .8 miles of roadway. This involves constructing two new northbound lanes and a bridge over Markham Ravine and reconstructing the existing roadway as two southbound lanes with a replacement bridge over Markham Ravine.

“There is a tight timetable in order to be ready for construction by summer 2013,” said Mark Miller, the city of Lincoln’s director of public services.

The city needs to secure environmental clearance, obtain Caltrans approval, complete property acquisition, finish the design and advertise and select a contractor, Miller said.

Nine parcels of land need to be acquired to construct the project.

Lincoln city project manager Ray Leftwich said 88 percent of the land that needs to be acquired, or 8.114 acres, is on the east side of Nelson Lane. That land is owned by commercial property owners. There are existing ranches on the west side of the road where the city needs to acquire land.

“We tried to minimize the impact on mom-and-pop ranchette-type properties,” Leftwich said.  

The estimated cost of the project is $6.1 million. Miller said the city has most of the money needed to begin. The funding is from local, state and federal sources. Approximately 88 percent of the money comes from the federal Highway Bridge Program.

Leftwich said the city “is hoping the contractor will be able to complete construction of the two northbound lanes, shoulder and new bridge by late summer or early fall of 2013 and construct the two southbound lanes using the existing road alignment and replace the old bridge by the end of summer 2014.”

Call 434-2450 or visit http://www.ci.lincoln.ca.us/pagedownloads/Nelson%20Lane_Outreach%20fact%20sheet.pdf for more information.