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Freeway Shortcut Will Boost Economy Says Study

SACRAMENTO COUNTY-

The agency charged with creating a freeway shortcut through Sacramento County says the project will pump $2.5 billion in economic activity into the region over the twenty year life of the project.

The Capital Southeast Connector Joint Powers Authority is moving ahead with plans to widen a two lane route from Elk Grove to Rancho Cordova and Folsom now being used by savy commuters.  The route uses Grant Line Road for the most part. But the proposed connector will create a 35 mile parkway from Interstate 5 near Elk Grove to take larger numbers of motorists to the El Dorado Hills area.

The connector will bypass Sacramento and ease commute congestion on Highway 50.

“It will have significant congestion relief benefits as well as air quality improvement benefits,” said Gene Endicott, a spokesman for the joint powers authority.

But funding the $456 million dollar project has always been a concern.  The report commissioned by the authority will go a long way in justifying the cost. It says 5,4000 construction jobs will be created and once it’s completed in 2035, 25,ooo permanent jobs will be created in the industrial, commercial and retail sectors.

While many residents would rather the area stay rural, traffic on Grantline Road is already congested during commute hours and suburban developments are creeping into the area.

The agency recently reached an agreement with the Environmental Council of Sacramento that restricts development along the corridor and considers environmental impacts that would be created.  While the project is not yet fully funded but the plan is to build the project in steps over the next twenty years.