Road Construction Season Underway

Sacramento County, CA (MPG)  |  By Matt Robinson, Sacramento County
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Image of a road repair crew filling in trenches on one of our roadways. Photo courtesy of Sacramento County.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - It’s that time of the year on Sacramento County roads. Construction season. The Sacramento County Department of Transportation (SacDOT) crews are busy with projects to improve area roads through new construction and maintenance efforts to beat back the wear and tear on the streets.

Some projects will be big efforts like the replacement of two bridges on Ione Road, and the construction of streetscape and completion of street improvements on Florin Road between Power Inn Road and Florin-Perkins Road (Old Florin Town). Others are designed to improve safety and mobility for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, like the Garfield Avenue Improvement Project which will add bike lanes, sidewalk and street lights from Whitney Avenue to Gibbons Drive while modifying the traffic signal at Winding Way.

SacDOT has compiled a Project Master List (PML), which is posted on the department website. It highlights the planned projects the department is working to complete. In the list, you can see: Which projects are in your area; A description of the planned work; When the Board of Supervisors approved/expects to approve the project; When construction is expected to start and end.

The PML also shows how much the project will cost, and how it is being funded. The PML includes all projects in the County that are currently under construction or will begin construction shortly. It also shows projects that are in earlier stages of development (environmental review, design, right-of-way acquisition) and are scheduled to be constructed in future years. This list is updated quarterly to include the latest project schedules and information.

Keeping the roadways safe means SacDOT crews will be out and about throughout the County in various ways taking care of much-needed maintenance. Crews will be busy filling potholes every day.

There are 5,200 lane miles of paved roads in the unincorporated areas of the County. In 2018, crews fixed nearly 59,000 potholes, but the weather coupled with the amount of traffic on our roads means potholes will show up as fast as crews fix them. Repairing a pothole is labor intensive work; due to the small size of a pothole, it requires crews to fix them by hand by shoveling asphalt into the holes. The patches offer a temporary solution, and eventually, roads with multiple patches will need a more expensive solution.

SacDOT is rolling out a $22 million street improvement plan that includes Elkhorn Boulevard. Work like this, known as an AC (Asphalt Concrete) Overlay will repair the base of the road. An overlay project is more than pothole repair. This involves grinding and removing the surface materials and replacing with rubberized asphalt concrete. These projects are time-consuming, traffic disrupting, and expensive. The Elkhorn project will cost around $3.4 million.

Construction season isn’t solely focused on roadways. The spring and summer season means trees are in full bloom, the grass is growing, and weeds need to be abated. That bloom can also mean excess growth that needs to be trimmed before they cause a driving hazard. SacDOT maintains the right-of-ways in the unincorporated areas. Public safety and healthy landscapes are the focus of the department’s Trees and Landscape section.

During the warm weather season, tree crews are out daily clearing the roads and sidewalks of hazards. Last year, crews trimmed 4,000 trees and removed another 257 diseased trees. This maintenance responsibility covers County owned roadway frontages, medians, pedestrian walkways, soundwalls, bike lanes, and overpasses. Along with the trees, you can find crews mowing more than 4,000 miles of roadside grass and performing nearly 2,000 miles of weed control.

SacDOT does its best to monitor the areas that need maintenance. A list is maintained with priority given to projects that have funding or pose immediate threats to public safety, but crews can’t catch everything. To inform the department of areas that need maintenance, the public is encouraged to call 3-1-1 or report it online. Public input can also help stop problems before they grow, and that can help save money by stopping small issues before they become worse.

SacDOT appreciates the public’s patience as County crews and contractors work to improve the roads, sidewalks, and landscape in the unincorporated areas. You can stay up-to-date with emails on road closures by subscribing to the SacDOT Road and Lanes Closure List. You can also follow SacDOT on Facebook and Twitter.