Report: Southeast connector construction could create 5,400 full-time jobs

By: Art Garcia, Telegraph Correspondent
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Construction of the Capital Southeast Corridor between El Dorado Hills and Elk Grove will pave the way for an economic boost by creating more than 5,400 new full-time jobs and $310 million in new labor income.

Those are conclusions of an economic impact study that also predicts the project’s construction will trigger nearly $831 million in new regional economic output and more than $23 million in new indirect business tax revenue.

The 35-mile parkway eventually will connect Highway 50 in El Dorado Hills with Interstate 5, south of Elk Grove, bypassing downtown Sacramento via freeway.

The regional study was done by Dr. Sanjay Varshney, dean of the College of Business at California State University, Sacramento, and a resident of El Dorado Hills.

According to the study, the Connector’s construction and use between this year and 2035 will generate more than 25,000 total new jobs, create $2.5 billion in new economic output and generate $182 million in new indirect business tax revenue.

Besides relieving traffic congestion, the Connector will link communities with employment centers. When completed, it will have four to six traffic lanes, with limited access points to keep traffic flowing.

There will be a variety of travel options throughout the corridor, including transit, bicyclists, pedestrians and even equestrians.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018. “That’s when we can accrue enough revenue to actually begin a segment of substance,” Tom Zlotkowski, executive director of the Capital Southeast Connector Joint Powers Agency, told the Telegraph.

Besides benefits related to congestion and improved air quality, the Connector “also provides a much-needed economic shot in the arm,” he said.

The JPA estimates annual savings of $11.7 million by 2045 related to a reduction in congestion and travel delays.

A groundbreaking last June marked the start of construction for Sacramento County’s $8.5 million White Rock Road Improvement Project, a significant step forward for the Connector project.

The White Rock Road project will include realignments to straighten a severe curve north of Grant Line Road, road widening, paving shoulders and providing new turning lanes and traffic signals at the Grant Line Road and Prairie City Road intersections.