Caltrans: Grass Valley public meeting on Hwy. 49 widening | TheUnion.com

Caltrans: Grass Valley public meeting on Hwy. 49 widening

To get local feedback on the State Route 49 highway widening project, the California Department of Transportation will host an open house from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday in the Hullender Room at the Grass Valley City Hall.

In an attempt to improve traffic operations and safety, the project proposes to widen Highway 49 to a four-lane highway, with 10-foot shoulder upgrades, from Nevada County's section of the highway from miles 11.1 to mile 13.3.

"Caltrans is studying the feasibility of widening the highway in the project limits," Caltrans spokesperson Liza Whitmore said. "We're asking for the public's input as we move forward with ideas for a design."

According to Whitmore, the project does not have a definitive time line for completion, but the transportation department has secured $6 million in funds for the feasibility and design plan.

Caltrans will seek the additional funds for construction of the project once the design has been vetted and developed.

Whitmore says that Caltrans has had a recent history of acquiring project funds from federal programs because of its ability to move projects through the design process efficiently.

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"While no funding to complete the project has yet been secured, it's an advantage for Caltrans to have the feasibility and design work done so when the funding comes, we can hit the ground running," she said.

Caltrans officials and project designers will be present Wednesday for local residents to meet, ask questions and exchange information about the project.

"We're at the very beginning stages," said Whitmore. "We're going to have some posters up with different kinds of designs on how Highway 49 can be widened, and we're inviting the public to come in and take a look at these designs and talk with the designers. We're really going to present the different options to get the public's input."

For more information, call Caltrans Public Information Officer Deanna Shoopman at 530-741-4572.

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.