Back-Seat Driver

Back-seat Driver: Road projects raise concerns in Roseville and Natomas

Fix50 isn’t the only roadway project causing diversions in the region this week. A major roundabout project in downtown Roseville is throwing some residents for a loop. Officials closed lanes at the busy Oak Street and Washington Boulevard intersection for a project they say will improve safety and traffic flow.

One lane remains open. But officials are asking people to try alternate routes. The project is expected to last most of the year. That’s upset some, including people who say they are not sure how to use a roundabout, and others who say the city should publicize detour routes. “A disaster in the making,” one emailed.

Jason Shykowski, a Roseville city engineer, acknowledged the project is an inconvenience, but said the end result will improve downtown. Roundabouts eliminate the need for stop signs or traffic signals. Traffic flows in, merges, and exits at controlled, thus safer, speeds. In Roseville, the car in the roundabout has right of way. The intersection currently has the highest crash rate in the city.

Pedestrian crosswalks also will be safer, Shykowski said, despite not having pedestrian signals.

C.C. or not C.C.?

“Don’t get my company confused with the other one,” C.C. Myers told me earlier this week as he stood at his construction company’s Fix50 project site.

Myers, who operated for years as C.C. Myers Inc., is noted for fast freeway fixes in tough situations after earthquakes, fires and even floods.

Here’s the confusion: His Sacramento company is now called Myers and Sons. But the old company, C.C. Myers Inc., is still around, doing major work in Sacramento, minus Myers himself.

What happened? In this Sunday’s Bee, business reporter Dale Kasler explains it all in a detailed profile of Myers. It’s a story of troubles and a roaring comeback.

I-80 road redo

We reported last week about problems on the Interstate 80 carpool expansion project in Natomas. Sections of newly poured concrete in the westbound carpool lanes have cracked, causing Caltrans to order the contractor to pull it out and redo it. This one is a C.C. Myers Inc. project, not one run by Myers and Sons.

Transportation Department Project Manager Jess Avila says some new concrete pours could start by next Thursday. His hope is to get the freeway fully open by late next year. First, though, crews must rebuild some of the crumbling old lanes, and repave others. That will require shifting traffic back and forth on the freeway during the next year.

It’s a major undertaking. In fact, this project, starting in 2011, is much bigger than the Fix50 project downtown. It has a $133 million budget compared to Fix50’s $46 million. That number could go up. Caltrans officials estimate the concrete redo cost could be in the $2 million to $3 million range. Caltrans and the contractor must negotiate who pays what portion of that, Avila said.