Capital SouthEast Connector Newsletter: Communities in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties will be efficiently linked with Folsom, Rancho Cordova and Elk Grove to reduce congestion and spur economic investment.
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Connector Board of Directors

Ron Mikulaco
El Dorado County

Patrick Hume
City of Elk Grove

Jeff Starsky
City of Folsom

Dave Sander
City of Rancho Cordova

Don Nottoli
Sacramento County

Governor Brown Signs Design-Build Legislation


Legislation signed in October by Governor Jerry Brown allowing the Connector to be built with a design-build procurement process could shave up to three years off of the project’s construction schedule and reduce costs by up to $40 million.
AB 401, which began as a bill allowing design-build authority on the I-405 freeway improvement project in Orange County, allows transportation agencies in counties with voter-approved transportation sales-tax programs – including the Capital SouthEast Connector Joint Powers Authority – to use design-build procurement for expressways and projects on the state highway system.  The legislation also allows the California Department of Transportation to use design-build procurement for up to 10 projects on the state highway system until 2024.
The bill was co-authored by Assembly Members Tom Daly (D- Anaheim), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) and Eric Linder (R-Corona), along with Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana).
“Approval of this bill reflects a clear direction by the Legislature that under fair rules the design-build tool can speed and strengthen capital investment in California’s future,” said Assembly Member Cooley.  “A key to our success was merging the efforts of design-build backers behind one bill.”
Under the design-build process a project’s design and construction is managed through one contract and can be overlapped.   The more traditional design-bid-build project delivery system separates the design and construction contracts.
“This is a hugely positive development for the Connector project.  With design-build authority, we can streamline the project’s delivery, which will save time and reduce our costs significantly,” said David Sander, chair of the Connector JPA board of directors.   â€œWe’re especially appreciative of Assembly Member Cooley’s leadership and support on this issue of critical importance in moving the project forward.”


Connector JPA Approves Updated Project Design Guidelines

The Connector JPA board at its October meeting approved updates to the Project Design Guidelines, initially adopted in March 2013, that clarify the design exception policy and the role of the JPA and its member jurisdictions in authorizing such exceptions.  The JPA board also approved additional technical changes to address completed and planned projects that may not meet all of the Connector’s design standards, a request for minimum interchange spacing of less than one mile, and differing design standards between jurisdictions.

Connector JPA Continues Pursuit of General Plan Amendments


The Connector JPA is continuing its efforts to secure approval of general plan amendments in the five JPA jurisdictions – Sacramento County, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and El Dorado County – to ensure that the project is implemented consistent with its program-level environmental impact report, Initial Plan of Finance and Project Design Guidelines.  
The Sacramento County general plan amendment has been reviewed by five Community Advisory Planning Councils – Cordova, Cosumnes, Delta, Southeast and Vineyard.  Consideration by the Planning Commission is scheduled for January 2014, followed by Board of Supervisors review and approval.  General plan amendment reviews in Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and El Dorado County are expected early in 2014.

Connector JPA Seeks Near-Term State and Federal Funding


Through a process under the responsibility of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), the Connector JPA is seeking near-term project development funding necessary to launch construction in 2018 on the project’s initial segments.
While the Connector JPA requested funding of $6 million through the 2013-14 Flexible Funding Programming Round, SACOG staff has recommended funding of $2 million.  SACOG through this process determines which projects are selected for regional transportation funds based on federal apportionments of Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality, Regional Surface Transportation Program, and State Transportation Improvement Program funds, and SACOG managed funds.
As Connector JPA Executive Director Tom Zlotkowski and members of the JPA board explained at the Oct. 31 SACOG Transportation Committee meeting, funding at the lower level threatens the 2018 start of phase-one construction.
That first phase to be completed by 2023 would include four lanes over the Connector’s full 34-mile length from I-5 in Elk Grove to Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills, improved at-grade intersections, a continuous bike and pedestrian path, and right of way preservation. 
A final decision on allocation of the 2013-14 flexible funding will be made in December by the SACOG board of directors. 
The project’s second phase to be implemented in future years as additional funding is identified and demand dictates will include up to two additional lanes in some segments and interchanges at key access points.

White Rock Road Project Nears Completion


Sacramento County’s White Rock Road Improvement Project that broke ground in June 2012 is substantially complete.  The $8.5 million project on a section of the planned Connector alignment included straightening the severe curve north of Grant Line Road, road widening, paved shoulders, and new turning lanes and traffic signals at the Grant Line Road and Prairie City Road intersections.  A ribbon-cutting event to formally signal project completion is anticipated for January 2014. 

Connector Quick Facts

As a 34-mile roadway connecting I-5 in Elk Grove to Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills, the Connector:
  • is one of the biggest planned local transportation infrastructure projects in California.
  • will create nearly 2,800 new full-time construction jobs as it’s being built.
  • will accommodate bike, pedestrian, equestrian, transit, truck and auto travel.

Assembly Member Cooley and Sacramento County Farm Bureau Tour Connector Alignment


Connector JPA Executive Director Tom Zlotkowski on Nov. 22 accompanied Assembly Member Ken Cooley and Sacramento County Farm Bureau Executive Director Charlotte Mitchell on an agriculture-focused tour of the Connector alignment that also included discussions with area farmers.  “We’re strongly committed to ensuring that our many stakeholders understand what we’re planning, and that we’re knowledgeable about their perspectives.  Getting into the field and talking directly with farmers whose operations are near the Connector alignment was a great way to increase mutual understanding,” said Zlotkowski. 

Connector Representatives Available for Community Presentations

As the Connector planning and implementation process moves forward, project representatives are available to provide presentations to community groups, neighborhood associations or other audiences interested in knowing more about its role in the region’s future transportation network.  Please contact the JPA office at 916-876-9094 or for more information and to request a presentation.