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The Placer County Board of Supervisors paved the way Tuesday, Sept. 9 for construction to begin as early as this fall on a partial cloverleaf interchange at Highway 65 and Sunset Boulevard.

Board members voted to approve plans and specifications and authorize the county Public Works Department to go out to bid on the project.

The project is a priority because it will eliminate the last at-grade intersection with traffic signals on Highway 65 between Interstate 80 and Lincoln. Construction is scheduled to begin late this fall if weather permits and to be completed in 18 to 24 months.

‘This is a much-needed project that will be a great benefit to our citizens. It will significantly reduce traffic congestion along Highway 65 and will help lower the number of traffic accidents at the intersection,’ said 2nd District Supervisor Robert Weygandt before the Sept. 9 meeting.

‘Going out to bid on the interchange is an important milestone, one we were able to achieve because of a spirit of cooperation among Placer County, the cities of Roseville and Rocklin, the United Auburn Indian Community and other partners on the project. It’s a great example of how much can be accomplished when everyone works together.’

‘This is an enormous step forward,’ said Supervisor Kirk Uhler during the meeting. ‘I’m really excited about this.’

The projected construction cost is $28.5 million. Placer County, Rocklin and Roseville are contributing funding through the Highway 65 Joint Powers Authority, an agency they created to help finance four interchanges along Highway 65.

Funding for the JPA comes from traffic-mitigation fees paid by new developments. The interchanges at Stanford Ranch Road-Galleria Boulevard, Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Blue Oaks Boulevard have already been built.

The United Auburn Indian Community is contributing approximately $4.7 million to the Sunset Boulevard project.

The Sunset interchange will have a partial-cloverleaf design with a circular onramp to move westbound Sunset traffic to the highway’s southbound lanes and a circular onramp for eastbound motorists on Sunset who want to head north on the highway. 

The interchange will feature a six-lane overpass for Sunset and allow for Highway 65 to eventually be widened to eight lanes with auxiliary lanes.

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