Sunday Jan 18 2009
Folsom Lake Crossing gets opening date
By: Don Chaddock/The Telegraph
Officials expect traffic through town to ease after March 28
Millions of dollars, years of wrangling and heavy through-town traffic is about to come to an end as Folsom’s new bridge finally has an opening date – Saturday, March 28. Two years after construction began, Folsom Lake Crossing will open with four lanes of traffic, bike lanes and will connect East Natoma Street with Folsom Auburn Road, according to the city’s Web site. In November, the last major piece of the bridge was put in place, connecting the structure across the American River Canyon. By the time it opens, the final price tag of the bridge will be $134 million. The bridge stands 200 feet above the American River and replaces the closed Folsom Dam Road. Folsom Vice Mayor Jeff Starsky said the opening of the new bridge holds personal meaning for him. “I became mayor and they closed the bridge two months later and we had 19,000 cars going through our city,” he said. “It was brutal. … I’ve been part of this since I’ve been on the council. I’ve testified before Congress twice (representing the city) to secure funds.” Starsky said the closure of the dam bridge impacted the city budget, increased traffic through town and drastically increased the number of accidents within the city limits. “The traffic has been an absolute disaster,” Starsky said. The bridge spans 970 feet and will be able to accommodate up to 40,000 vehicles per day. Don Chaddock is the editor of the Telegraph. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.