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

NEPA Approach to be Determined Later This Year


The Connector JPA currently is evaluating approaches to comply with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for the project. The JPA in March 2012 certified the environmental impact report under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the overall project. But to use potential federal funding on the project a NEPA review also will be necessary before construction can begin. A recommendation on the overall NEPA strategy, timing, estimated costs and sequence of reviews is expected to go to the JPA board and federal agencies this fall.

Connector JPA Pursues Design-Build Legislation


After working closely this year with Assemblymember Ken Cooley (Rancho Cordova) on state legislation that would authorize the Connector JPA to implement the project using a design-build approach, prospects for approval appear positive. A design-build contract – in which the project’s design and construction is managed through one contract and can be overlapped – would save up to an estimated $50 million and would accelerate the project’s construction by 48 months. The more traditional design-bid-build project delivery system separates the design and constructions contracts.

Sacramento County White Rock Road Improvements Move Forward


Sacramento County’s $8.5 million White Rock Road Improvement Project that began in June 2012 is nearing completion this fall. The project includes realignments to straighten the severe curves 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 The project is funded with Proposition 1B State Bond program funds and Sacramento County Transportation development fees.

El Dorado County Authorizes Silva Valley Interchange Work

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in June authorized work to proceed on the Silva Valley Interchange’s first phase, which is estimated to cost approximately $30 million.  Proposals for that work are due in September 2013.  The overall project includes a new overpass on Highway 50, on and off ramps, signalized intersections, and new bicycle/pedestrian facilities.  When completed, the new interchange will provide direct access to Highway 50 for area residents and businesses otherwise required to use Bass Lake Road or the El Dorado Hills Boulevard Interchange. El Dorado County Authorizes Silva Valley Interchange Work.

Connector JPA Seeks General Plan Amendments


Following Connector Joint Powers Authority (JPA) board approval earlier this year of the Initial Plan of Finance and Project Design Guidelines , a key next step in the project’s implementation is approval of general plan amendments in each of the five JPA jurisdictions. These amendments are needed to ensure that the Connector as described in the program-level environmental impact report, Initial Plan of Finance and Project Design Guidelines is reflected in general plans of each JPA jurisdiction (Sacramento County, El Dorado County, and the cities of Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Folsom).

“Our goal is to secure approval of the general plan amendments by the end of 2013, which will keep us on track to start construction by 2018,” said Tom Zlotkowski, executive director of the Connector JPA. The project’s first phase to be completed by 2023 will 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.

The project’s second phase will include up to two additional lanes in some segments and interchanges at key access points, and be implemented in future years as additional funding is identified and demand dictates.

Connector Economic Impact Likely to Exceed Other Regional Projects


A recent economic impact study concluded that the Connector project will have a long-term economic impact that likely will exceed other large regional infrastructure projects, including the Sacramento International Airport expansion, Highway 65 in Placer County, and a downtown Sacramento entertainment and sports facility.

Conducted by Dr. Sanjay Varshney, producer of the regional economic forecast and Sacramento Business Review and dean of the College of Business at Sacramento State, the study estimates that construction of the new roadway between Elk Grove and El Dorado Hills will create more than 5,400 new full-time jobs and $310 million in new labor income. It also predicts that the project’s construction will generate nearly $831 million in new regional economic output and more than $23 million in new indirect business tax revenue.

“In addition to its benefits related to congestion relief and improved air quality, the Connector also provides a much-needed economic shot in the arm,” said Tom Zlotkowski, executive director of the Capital SouthEast Connector JPA. “It’s clear that this project will be a catalyst in helping to accelerate the region’s economic recovery.”

Taking into account its construction and use between 2013 and 2035, the study estimates that the Connector will create more than 25,000 total new jobs and increase gross regional product by $1.6 billion. It also will generate:
  • $2.5 billion in new economic output
  • $1 billion in new labor income
  • $182 million in new indirect business tax revenue.

The JPA estimates that reduced congestion and travel delays will save area residents and workers $11.7 million annually by 2045.

“The Connector will improve linkages between population and employment centers, and help attract new businesses of all kinds, including retail, manufacturing and distribution,” said Varshney. “The sooner the project is implemented, the more quickly the region will realize its economic-development benefits.”

Recent Media Coverage: The Connector continues to be featured in regional media coverage, including most recently in a column by Comstock’s Magazine Publisher Winnie Comstock-Carlson and in the summer edition of The Highway 50 corridor TMA magazine.

Connector a Key Partner in South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan

The South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) will provide a regional approach in balancing development against conservation and protection of habitat, open space, and agricultural lands on approximately 374,000 acres within south Sacramento County, including the cities of Elk Grove, Galt, and Rancho Cordova. It currently is expected to be adopted by the end of 2014.

As a plan partner, the Connector JPA has been working cooperatively on these efforts over the past several years and will play a key role in the SSHCP’s implementation. Under a settlement agreement reached in 2012 with the Environmental Council of Sacramento over the Connector’s environmental impact report, the Connector JPA also is contributing $300,000 to the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for the Regional Open Space Inventory/Plan to benefit the SSHCP.