Recap - April 2019 Lunch Program
On Wednesday, April 17th, WTS-Sacramento welcomed City of Elk Grove’s Jeff Werner, Engineering Services Manager, and Kevin Bewsey, Capital Program Manager, to give a presentation on the City’s recently completed Sheldon and Bradshaw Road Intersection Project.
Kevin began the presentation with an overview of the existing conditions at the intersection of Sheldon Road and Bradshaw Road, located in the Rural Sheldon Area of Elk Grove. The intersection accommodates over 18,000 cars per day, and the existing 4-way stop operated at a Level of Service (LOS) F and experienced significa
nt delays during peak hours. Laguna Creek flows underneath the intersection through an existing bridge that would overtop during a 100-year storm event. The improvements to the intersection needed to replace the existing bridge with a structure adequately sized to handle the 100-year flood event, as well as accommodating increased traffic volumes to enable the intersection to operate at a LOS D or better (per City policy). The proposed improvements also needed to follow the Rural Road Improvement Standards, as designated in the Elk Grove General Plan. These standards are in place to enhance and preserve the rural character of the Sheldon area, and as such, no concrete curb, gutter, or sidewalks were allowed to be constructed.
During the planning process, two intersection options were feasible for this location: a 4-way signalized intersection, and a two-lane roundabout. Both designs were environmentally cleared, and required both a full and partial closure of the intersection during construction. The City held public meetings to present both the signalized intersection and roundabout design to the community, which included traffic simulations and exhibits depicting both design options. The public was asked to vote for their preferred alternative, and the result was essentially a toss-up between the signal and the roundabout. The two options were then presented to the City Council, and ultimately the roundabout design was selected as the preferred alternative.
Kevin also spoke about the challenges the City faced during the right-of-way acquisitions needed for the project. As an example, one property owner was located in Japan and did not speak English. The City had to translate the offer letters and other documents before presenting them to the property owner. Jeff then spoke about the challenges and solutions the City faced during construction of the project. The intersection was closed at the start of construction and a 3.5-mile detour route was put in place. During the first days there were several reports of motorists disobeying the detour signage and using nearby residences’ driveways to turn around after realizing they could not proceed through the intersection.
Utility coordination and relocation for the most part went smoothly, with nearly all utility companies relocating their overhead and underground facilities in a timely manner, including Kinder Morgan, who was able to relocate their 10” underground petroleum line in the nick of time before construction began.
The installation of the new precast box culvert under the intersection was completed two days ahead of schedule, and the new roundabout intersection was opened to traffic one day ahead of schedule. Traffic is now flowing through the roundabout without the significant delays experienced before. The total project cost was approximately $8.5 million, with funding from the federal-aid Highway Bridge Program, SACOG, and local funds.
Thank you Jeff and Kevin for this interesting and informative presentation!