LINCOLN (CBS13) – The long-awaited Lincoln Bypass on Highway 65 will open to motorists on Monday, Caltrans announced.
Currently, Highway 65 goes through the heart of downtown Lincoln, causing major backups. The nearly 12-mile-long bypass, which begins at Industrial Boulevard and ends north of Sheridan, will take motorists around Lincoln.
Lincoln residents will see a transformation downtown as they reclaim a traditional main street, Caltrans said in a press release announcing the opening. Some Lincoln residents avoided the downtown area because of the congestion.
It is the longest stretch of new highway built in California in a decade, Caltrans said, and the agency estimates nearly 20,000 motorists a day can expect to see a significant decrease in their travel times in the Lincoln area.
“This project is good for the community, good for commuters, and a winner for local businesses,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “It will relieve traffic congestion through the heart of Lincoln, enhance the movement of goods, and save drivers money because they won’t be stuck traffic burning up $4-a-gallon gas.”
A grand opening celebration for the bypass was held Friday morning.
The $292 million first phase of the project received $49 million from Proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved transportation bond.
Although the bypass will open Monday, work will continue on the second phase of the project, which will extend the four-lane section of the bypass from Nelson Lane to about one-mile north of West Wise Road.
The decade-long project is a partnership with the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, Caltrans, the city of Lincoln, Placer County, the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority and the federal government.