$15 million project to widen Highway 20 unveiled Thursday
Residents will have their first chance Thursday to review a plan to widen Highway 20 west from the Nevada-Yuba county line to just east of Oak Canyon Drive in Penn Valley.
Construction on the 3.9-mile, $15 million project is scheduled to begin in 2006 and be completed by fall 2007.
The project was approved in part because of a higher-than-normal incidence of traffic accidents on the highway in the past three years, Caltrans project manager Tom Brannon said. The project includes widening the stretch of road from its current configuration of two, 12-foot lanes with two-foot wide shoulders at the narrowest point of the highway to a roadway that will include two, eight-foot shoulders, and on the eastward uphill climb, the addition of a 12-foot truck lane with eight-foot shoulders on either side of the roadway. The roadway has numerous curves and climbs from 940 feet to 1,600 feet in the area that is being targeted for improvement.
According to 2000 figures, Brannon said just over 7,000 vehicles travel the roadway daily, with a projected 11,200 vehicles in 2024. Brannon said four percent of those vehicles are trucks.
Brannon said a three-year study of the roadway indicates 66 accidents on the improvement area, two of which resulted in fatalities and 43 that were injury accidents. The improved roadway is expected to reduce accidents by 30 percent, according to Caltrans projections.
That’s a higher incidence than similar roadways in the state, Brannon said.
“We pick these locations with considerable care,” he said. “There are more roads that need to be fixed than we have money for.”
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Highway 20 safety improvements public meeting
WHEN: 4:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Western Gateway Park, Buttermaker1s Cottage, 18560 Penn Valley Drive.
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