THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
At least two new crossings are needed over the Sacramento River between the City of Sacramento and City of West Sacramento, according to a study paid for by the two cities.
The Sacramento River Crossings Alternatives Study findings, to be presented to the Sacramento City Council on July 19 and West Sacramento City Council on July 20, recommend two new crossings. Locations suggested include the areas between the 100-year-old I Street Bridge and the American River confluence to the north, and between the Pioneer Bridge (U.S. Highway 50) and Sutterville Road to the south.
The study says crossings would:
- Increase economic activity and access to jobs
- Improve the potential to achieve planned urban development and redevelopment
- Make walking and bicycling across the river viable as transportation options
- Reduce car, truck and public-transit delays
- Increase riverfront public access and recreation opportunities
- Improve travel safety and increasing evacuation alternatives during emergency situations
Both city councils are being asked to acknowledge the need for new river crossings. The study’s goal was to earn the cities’ buy-in to seek state and federal money for engineering and analysis of the potential crossing locations.
The nine-month study was the result of an extensive public-outreach process including stakeholder meetings, an on-line survey that generated nearly 1,700 responses, and public open house. Participating stakeholders included Sacramento and West Sacramento property owners, community groups, neighborhood associations, developers, business interests, public transportation agencies, and advocates of walking and biking provided input to the project team throughout study.
“What this study clearly reinforced is that we are dramatically underserved when it comes to crossings over the Sacramento River,” said Jerry Way, the City’s Director of Transportation. “The study shows why bridges are needed, why we need two and that they need to serve multiple modes of travel, not just vehicles. From here, the next phase is to drill down into specifically where they might best function and what they would look like.”
North Market Alternatives
As defined in the study, the north market sites of future development include the Railyards and River District developments in Sacramento, and the Washington Specific Plan area and proposed California Indian Heritage Center in West Sacramento. Two crossing alternatives were identified to serve this area: one connecting Sacramento’s River District to the Indian Heritage Center and the Rivers, and the second connecting the River District and Railyards to the Washington Specific Plan area.
South Market Alternatives
The south market as defined in the study has the highest level of existing population and employment. It is served by an existing bridge and includes Southport, the Stone Lock project and Pioneer Bluff redevelopment in West Sacramento and Miller Park redevelopment, the Broadway corridor and Land Park in Sacramento. Three alternatives were identified to serve this area: one connecting the Pioneer Bluff redevelopment area and West Sacramento riverfront to Broadway or W/X Streets, a second connecting West Sacramento’s Stone Lock area to Miller Park, and a third connecting Southport at Linden Road to Land Park at Sutterville Road in Sacramento.
Stakeholders supported new crossings designed to accommodate multiple transportation modes, including bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles, and facilities to scale for their surroundings.
“New river crossings between West Sacramento and Sacramento will provide numerous transportation and economic-developments not just to our cities but the overall region,” said Maureen Pascoe, City of West Sacramento Capital Improvement manager. “We’re looking forward to collaborating further with Sacramento to get these facilities developed.”
New all-mode crossing facilities are estimated to cost between $40 million and $270 million depending on location, width, fixed or moveable design, and other variables.
The study evaluated traffic impacts, development plans, environmental impacts, safety, economic-development plans and facility costs. See the full report or executive summary.