Dorsey Drive interchange appears a distant reality |

Dorsey Drive interchange appears a distant reality

State funding woes have forced local traffic planners to scale back plans for building the Dorsey Drive interchange at the Golden Center Freeway, Nevada County Transportation Commission director Dan Landon said at a public meeting late Tuesday.

They now are trying to get approval from the California Department of Transportation to build an onramp from Dorsey Drive onto westbound Highway 20/49. That first phase of the project currently is projected to cost $12.5 million, including construction, buying out nearby landowners and costs to support CalTrans, Landon said.

If all were go to as planned, the work could start in 2009 and be completed in 2012, he said.

“By reducing the scope of the project, we can show to the state that we have a viable project and viable funding and we can move ahead,” Landon said.

Planners have been working on the Grass Valley interchange for 15 years. It would take pressure off the nearby intersection of East Main Street and Idaho-Maryland Road, where commuters get onto and off of the freeway. It also would get ambulances faster into Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, just a few blocks off Dorsey Drive.

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