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Placer County officials have moved up the date and the interchange is now open!

Placer County is almost ready to open the new interchange at Highway 65 and Sunset Boulevard to motorists.

First, though, Sunset must be closed at Highway 65 for several days so contactors can remove traffic signals and shift traffic lanes to the new bridge that will take Sunset over the highway.

Sunset was closed Thursday evening. County officials hope to open the new interchange at 5 a.m. Monday, March 15, but may need to postpone the opening until sometime later on Monday because of rain expected today.

Daily updates on the construction progress and the expected opening time for the interchange will be posted online at www.placersunset65.com. The website also has information on alternative routes for motorists to use while Sunset is closed.

The closure of Sunset will not impede traffic on Highway 65.

Sunset will be closed at Placer Corporate Drive and South Loop Road west of Highway 65 and at Atherton Road on the east side of the highway.

Motorists who normally would enter or exit Highway 65 at Sunset will need to use other intersections, such as the interchanges at Blue Oaks Boulevard and Twelve Bridges Drive.

The new interchange at Highway 65 and Sunset will eliminate the highway’s last intersection with traffic signals between Interstate 80 and Lincoln.

‘The new interchange will reduce traffic congestion dramatically while making the highway safer,’ said 2nd District Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt. ‘It also is of key importance in opening up the Sunset Industrial Area, the largest industrial park in Placer County. The interchange will make the area much more attractive as a job-creation center, and that is an important priority for Placer County.’

The Sunset Industrial Area is a business center created by Placer County to generate primary-wage-earner jobs and help fund county services. It covers nearly 8,000 acres along the Highway 65 corridor between the cities of Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln.

The new interchange includes a six-lane overpass to take Sunset traffic over the highway and will allow for Highway 65 to eventually be widened to eight lanes with auxiliary lanes.

The interchange has 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. 

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 have been built already.

Funding for the Sunset Interchange includes a significant contribution by the United Auburn Indian Community.

The county’s construction contractor on the project is RGW Construction. Psomas is providing construction management services and Mark Thomas & Co. designed the project.

The Highway 65-Sunset Interchange is separate from a much-larger project being built nearby: the Lincoln Bypass. The bypass is an 11.7-mile project being constructed west of the city of Lincoln from south of Industrial Boulevard to just past the community of Sheridan.

The partners on the Lincoln Bypass project include the California Department of Transportation, Placer County, Lincoln, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency, South Placer Regional Transportation Authority and the federal government.

Directions for Monday: To access the interchange site, drive north on Highway 65 from Interstate 80. Take Blue Oaks west to Industrial Avenue. Go north and turn right on South Loop Road and right again onto Sunset. We will meet you atop the new bridge, where you may drive through once it’s open or park safely on the right to speak with Ken Grehm, Placer County’s Public Works Director.