Two projects could improve county traffic situation |

Two projects could improve county traffic situation

There’s some good news for motorists who are regularly stuck in traffic on the way to and from Nevada Union High School, not to mention those who are simply trying to negotiate their way through it along Ridge Road during rush hour.

In this case, rush hour is right before and after the school day and, as Nevada County traffic jams go, this one is definitely a nuisance.

Officials with the Nevada Joint Union High School District have discussed plans for a two-lane connector road from the campus to a second access point, Sierra College Drive, which would help distribute the congestion. Details of the road, to be paid for by a $1.3 million state grant, still need to be worked out and district officials stress they can’t say when the project will be built.

Still the road is an important addition to our traffic system and we encourage district officials in their work to relieve congestion on Ridge Road.

There are also traffic improvements in the works just south of our county that may also help ease driving woes for Nevada County motorists. South county residents in particular have dreamed of quicker access to Interstate 80.

The project some have longed for would be something fairly direct, cutting through a rural stretch of Placer County. However that project is decried by some in Placer County who aren’t keen on new roadways through their countryside and that certainly isn’t going to happen any time soon – if ever.

The project that is making headway is the one Placer County seems more amenable to, a widening of Bell Road. The idea is to expand 21/2 miles of the road between Highway 49 and I-80 from two to four lanes. This doesn’t help motorists stuck in traffic between Nevada and Placer counties, which remains a nasty bottleneck. However, it does provide a bypass for Interstate 80-bound motorists looking to avoid stop-and-go traffic in Auburn.

Work on the $5.2 million project would begin in May and take about a year.

It’s not the ideal traffic solution south county residents have been waiting for but it’s an improvement that can make our commuting lives just a little easier.

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