Bell Road to be widened |

Bell Road to be widened

The Union Staff
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

A construction project that could make it faster for Nevada County commuters to get to Interstate 80 should begin in May, when construction is expected to start to widen Bell Road to four lanes between Highway 49 and I-80.

“We are hoping that will be the schedule,” said Rick Dondro, deputy director of Placer County’s public works department.

“We’re hoping (traffic) delays are kept to a minimum. We’re hoping to keep two lanes open during daylight hours,” he said.

It should take about a year to finish the project, which will widen about 21/2 miles of Bell Road, which currently is two lanes.

It’s an expensive project, Dondro said, because work includes significant grading, modification of two traffic signals, environmental mitigation such as planting trees, erosion control and widening a bridge over Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Wise irrigation canal.

Grading work and most of the paving should be done this year, then construction work will resume in the spring of 2003, Dondro said.

Placer County is funding the entire $5.2 million project with traffic mitigation fees paid by new development in Placer County, Dondro said.

The county has about $3.5 million of traffic mitigation fees in the bank, and the project will use all of it. To make up the difference, “we’re having to borrow money … against future (traffic fee mitigation) payments,” Dondro said.

But he said the project is important.

“There will be less delays, especially during peak hour. In the evening and the morning, traffic should run smoother. It should be safer,” Dondro said.

During construction, “we would request that the public be patient,” he said, and drive carefully through the construction zone.

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