Reporting Sean Bennett
ELK GROVE (CBS13) – One of the Sacramento area’s largest public works projects finally broke ground Thursday after 50 years in the making.
“To say we’re excited is putting it too lightly,” said Merlone Geier Partners Managing Director Scott McPherson.
The project has been in the works since Sacramento Councilmember Darrell Fong was a little boy.
“It’s been in the master plan, the general plan since the 1960s,” he said.
The Cosumnes River Boulevard Extension and Interstate 5 Interchange Project is of the of the city’s largest public works projects ever, which will bring 228 jobs to the construction site.
“You’re going to get a lot of development out here that’s been vacant. It could be an economic jump start for the city too,” said Fong.
The project will provide east-west connectivity between Highway 99 and Interstate 5, as well as open up room for an 800-acre Delta Shores development.
“Our hope is that retail will lead the way. We’ve planned about a million square feet of retail here on the freeway side of the property and looking forward to moving forward on that first,” said McPherson.
“Going to help our sales tax, we’re going to have a big retail development in this area right here,” said Fong.
The cost is about $82 million and once it’s completed it could help during morning rush hour.
“One of the benefits of a project like this is that it increases traffic flow. The CRV connection will tie in with the 99 freeway, to the east will actually improve traffic,” said McPherson.
Sacramento officials say this project is expected to take around two years complete and should be finished by 2015.
The project will also include more traffic lanes, on street bike lanes, and provide access to two future regional transit light rail stations to Cosumnes River College.