Interstate 80 safety projects get green light |

Interstate 80 safety projects get green light

The California Department of Transportation is funding more than $16 million in transportation projects in Nevada County using gas tax money.

Last week the agency announced two projects aiming to increase transportation safety on Interstate 80 in Nevada County would get funding through Senate Bill 1, a $5 billion fund meant to repair roads and improve mass transit sometimes known as the gas tax.

The first project would replace guardrails with concrete barriers at 11 locations along Interstate 80 in Nevada County. It’s expected to cost more than $10 million.

The second project would use $6.5 million to mitigate slope erosion and rockfall through the installation of cable net drapery and an erosion control system.

“Caltrans is committed to improving California’s transportation infrastructure and creating safer, more reliable travel options,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said in a release. “This investment allows the department to continue our critical repairs and upgrades to roads, bridges, mass transit and bicycle and pedestrian routes.”

The funding was part of more than $560 million allocated for 56 projects throughout the state and $2 billion dedicated to future projects over the next three years.

Other projects funded include $630,000 for a 10-foot wide, 1,700-foot multi-use trail in Truckee connecting the Brockway Road and Legacy trails downtown.

In Placer County, a $3.6 million project will also aim to upgrade guardrails along Interstate 80.

An $86 million regional project aiming to improve freight transportation will also add a fifth lane to Interstate 80 in Placer County, hoping to relieve congestion, reduce collisions, and promote intermodal connections.

“These projects are going to benefit California in multiple important ways,” said California Transportation Commission Chair, Hilary Norton. “From an economic perspective, they will move people and goods more efficiently while creating over 100,000 jobs during one of the most difficult periods in our state’s history. From a climate perspective, they will move us toward a more inter-connected and multimodal transportation system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by getting more people to take transit, walk, or bike. This will be a game changer for transportation in California, especially as the state moves toward making travel on all of these modes cleaner.”

John Orona is a Staff Writer for The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. Email him at or call 530-477-4229.

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