Placer approves contract to design Bell Road, I-80 interchange roundabouts

Published on March 12, 2019

A plan for two new roundabouts at Interstate 80’s Bell Road interchange in North Auburn moved forward today with the Placer County Board of Supervisors approving a $1.9 million contract with GHD Inc. to design the safety and congestion improvement project.

Currently, traffic at the interchange is controlled by stop signs, slowing the flow of traffic at two increasingly busy intersections. The project would include the nearby Bell Road and Bowman Road intersection in the roundabout design and remove the existing traffic signal there.

“It is great to see this project move forward,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery. “We’ve seen a lot of success with roundabout projects in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe. While traffic challenges still exist, they’ve been improved. Traffic collisions are fewer and at lower speeds, they’ve alleviated congestion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Moving forward is absolutely the right step to take today."

A partnership with Caltrans, the project is expected to be funded from several sources, with a majority coming from federal programs. Funding provided by the Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program will cover 40 percent of the cost, 35 percent will be funded by the Federal Regional Surface Transportation Program and the remaining 25 percent will be funded by the county Traffic Impact Fee Program.

With the board’s approval, the project will now move into preliminary engineering analysis and an environmental study, with a draft of the plan expected to be ready for public review by summer 2019.

If the project is approved, construction could begin as soon as 2022.