A frustrating traffic bottleneck near Sacramento State just got easier to navigate, especially for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Dozens of people gathered Friday morning in the gravel of Sacramento State’s Lot 9 to celebrate the completion of the Ramona Avenue extension, which began nearly a year ago.
The extension offers pedestrian and vehicular access under Highway 50 from Brighton Avenue to Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento, city officials said. The extension at Folsom Boulevard also provides a streamlined route for students on foot and bicycle access to the university’s south entrance.
“The new entrance will serve as yet another front door to Sacramento State,” said Steve Perez, the school’s provost. “We stand ready to be the anchor institution that the Sacramento region and city deserves and this is going to help us, literally, get out of our geographic bounds in one other direction we’ve been able to do before.”
The new development also included a railroad crossing, new sidewalks and median, curbs and gutters, and widening of Folsom Boulevard to make room for sidewalks and bike lanes.
City officials and project collaborators stood alongside Vice Mayor Eric Guerra, as he cut the bright red ribbon at the end of the 20-minute ceremony and declared the project officially open.
This project has been in the making since Guerra was Sac State’s student body president 20 years ago. He said when he was a student he would have to travel on Power Inn Road and walk through Howe Avenue, trying to figure out a way to get to campus safely.
“This signifies the expansion for our university and is an opportunity for students to walk and bike safely to campus,” said Guerra, adding that he hopes to see a new light rail station near the extension one day.
The Ramona Avenue extension was under construction from March to December and cost $6.9 million. It was paid for with money from with developers, along with state, local and federal grant funding, the city said in a news release.
“This thing has been in the works for a long time,” said Jeff Harris, district 3 council member. “And what does this represent? Connectivity is very important to our city and this is a really important piece.”