Highway will widen at El Dorado Hills | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Highway will widen at El Dorado Hills

Tahoe visitors from the Bay area and Sacramento may have a quicker ride to the basin by 2002.

The state of California and Sacramento and El Dorado counties are working together to construct car pool lanes on U.S. Highway 50 between El Dorado Hills Boulevard and the Sunrise interchange in Sacramento. El Dorado County is expected to contribute $14 million to the project’s estimated $31 million construction costs. Work is scheduled to be completed in 2002.

A ground-breaking ceremony for local government officials and media representatives will take place at 10 a.m., Thursday at the Nimbus Winery near Highway 50 Hazel Road.

“It’s basically just a ceremony to mark the ground-breaking of what is a tremendous project because it is congestion relieving and because of all the regional cooperation that went into making it happen,” said Matt Boyer, El Dorado County director of transportation.

El Dorado County Department of Transportation submitted a study on traffic congestion along the Highway 50 corridor to the board of supervisors Tuesday. According to the study, Highway 50 in El Dorado County rated on the borderline between “E” and “F.” A rating of “F” means standstill traffic congestion.

Even though the car pool lanes are being constructed on the west end of the county, Boyer said he expects them to alleviate traffic congestion along the entire Highway 50 corridor.

“I think it will have a very significant impact on the Thursday, Friday evening traffic coming up to the basin,” Boyer said. “The car pool lane was perfect to solve that problem because the Tahoe traffic usually has three or five people in each car.”

El Dorado County Supervisor Dave Solaro said the new lanes will have an impact on future housing development in the county.

“I believe there is (an increasing housing demand in El Dorado County) because we have a lot of new businesses going in and (their employees) are going to need somewhere to live,” Solaro said. “We prefer they live in El Dorado County, for one, because it takes more cars off the road.”

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