Freeport Boulevard closure angers cyclists

Bicycle advocates are calling on the city of Sacramento to provide cyclists with an alternate route while Freeport Boulevard is closed this summer for a major construction project.

The city closed the street for slightly more than a mile south of Meadowview and Pocket roads this week to allow crews to build an underground water main to serve future residents and businesses in the planned Delta Shores subdivision near the town of Freeport. Construction on Freeport Boulevard is expected to continue through Sept. 15.

City officials have provided a detour for motorists. Drivers headed to the Delta are being directed to use Interstate 5 and to take the new Cosumnes River Boulevard exit westbound. That exit will bring them to Freeport Boulevard just south of the construction area.

City officials have not, however, provided an alternative for cyclists, angering many who use the popular route for recreational rides along the Sacramento River.

“Cyclists are upset that the city again does not prioritize alternative routes for cyclists,” said Jim Brown, head of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates.

Brown said he and others are pushing the city to provide a detour, possibly by laying down a temporary asphalt path next to the road.

In a press statement issued Monday, city spokeswoman Linda Tucker said there isn’t room to allow cyclists near the construction site currently. Tucker said cyclists will be able to travel through the construction area beginning Aug. 11, prior to completion of the project, either on Freeport Boulevard or a detour along the levee.

However, on Tuesday city officials said they had heard from cyclists, and are looking at ways that they might be able to allow cyclists to get through the construction area, but nothing had been confirmed yet.

Delta Shores is an 800-acre planned development that will include housing and retail south of the city’s Meadowview neighborhood and largely east of I-5.

The city recently completed the Cosumnes River Boulevard interchange on I-5 to open access to the site. The new portion of Cosumnes River Boulevard ultimately will be connected to streets in already developed areas to the east.