Back-Seat Driver

727 jet navigates Rancho Cordova streets

If you were out driving in Rancho Cordova on Sunday, you may have seen this: a 727 jet rolling at 1 mph down Douglas Road and making the left turn up Zinfandel Drive.

No, it wasn’t lost, searching for a runway and refusing to ask for directions. The jet is intended to be used as a prop at a new fire and hazardous materials training facility being built on Zinfandel by the state Office of Emergency Services, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and Sacramento Fire Department. Federal Express donated the plane.

For more than four hours Sunday, crews gingerly rolled the 153-foot jet on a trailer from Mather Field to its new home. Here’s a video of the move.

“It wasn’t quick and easy,” Michelle Eidam of Metro Fire said. Workers had to take down light poles and fences to make way, and stop traffic at intersections. “I was holding my breath. It was exciting to see.”

The $56million training facility, called the Emergency Response Training Center, will be one of the most sophisticated and well-equipped in the country, officials say, thanks to real props such as train cars, tanker trucks, a light-rail car, a whitewater rescue simulator and a partially demolished building for use in rescue training.

The jet will be used for training for a variety of emergency situations including passenger or cargo plane fires, and for simulated terrorist attacks and hostage situations.

Transportation planning 101

The region’s transportation planning agency, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, is holding workshops to get public opinion on transportation spending priorities for the next 20 years around Sacramento. If you want to see what they are thinking about, and take a survey to help them refine their priorities, go online to

It’ll take you about 15 minutes to get through it, but it offers a good understanding of how transportation projects are funded, how transportation policy is connected to how and where new neighborhoods are built, and how cities remold their older neighborhoods.

Airport lane closures

They’re repaving the roads at Sacramento International Airport this week and next, and airport officials are warning the work could cause some delays for drivers.

“The pavement is well past its existing life,” airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower said.

People coming to the airport during peak hours next Wednesday (the biggest business travel day) and Thursday should arrive about 10 to 15minutes early, Slothower said, just to be on the safe side.

The peak crowd hours at the airport on most days are 5a.m. to 7a.m., 11a.m. to 3p.m., and 9p.m. to 11p.m. Road resurfacing work will be around the clock. Lanes on Airport Boulevard, the main road in, will be closed periodically on Wednesday and Thursday.

Call The Bee’s Tony Bizjak,