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Overcrossing to span intersection near Folsom Lake

By: Roger Phelps, The Telegraph
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Cyclists on a planned trail will need an overcrossing to avoid an expected heavy-traffic intersection below the under-construction Folsom Lake Crossing bridge. Bike travelers on a trail running near East Natoma Street going to or coming from the span over the American River near Folsom Lake will use a 175-foot crossing elevated above the intersection of Folsom Bridge Road and East Natoma. That intersection, complete with coming traffic lights, is expected to be heavily traveled by motorists crossing the river to or from Folsom-Auburn Road. City Council members July 22 authorized a consultant's contract for environmental documentation on an overcrossing. The first phase of the trail project includes the environmental consulting for the overcrossing and purchase of a land parcel below Folsom Prison. "Opportunity to design and construct the overcrossing in combination with the roadway construction is critical and is the most cost-efficient option," wrote Robert Goss, parks and recreation director, in a report to council members. The planned "Class I" bike trail will traverse properties along East Natoma Street owned by Folsom State Prison, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and the California State Parks system. Documenting the overcrossing project as in compliance with California Environmental Quality Act and National Environmental Policy Act regulations is expected to cost around $1.3 million. Winning the $1.3 million consultant's contract was URS Corp. of San Francisco, a major government contractor. URS earned $132.2 million on sales of $5.38 billion in the year ended Dec. 28. The previous year it earned $113 million on sales of $4.22 billion, according to the San Francisco Business Times "Focused environmental studies will be completed including a visual simulation of the bridge, wetlands delineation, oak-tree inventory and a cultural-resource study," Goss wrote. A reason URS got the consulting contract for the bike-trail overcrossing is that it is already "part of the design team" for the in-progress Folsom Lake Crossing bridge project, said Sue Ryan, city information officer. In that role, URS contracts with the Bureau of Reclamation, Ryan said. Funding the work will be city money totaling $475,000 and a pair of grants. Folsom received $575,000 from a bike-funding program of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, and received $295,000 from the state Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Fund, city documents show. The Telegraph’s Roger Phelps can be reached at rogerp@goldcountrymedia.com, or post a comment at folsomtelegraph.com