Roseville, Rocklin Leaders Have High Hopes for Highway 65 Expansion

ROSEVILLE -- It's a small stretch of Highway 65 but getting through it can take quite some time.

"You almostĀ feel as though you're in the Bay Area, the traffic gets to such a slow point that it becomes frustrating," said Rocklin Mayor Ken Broadway.

Roseville Mayor Susan Rohan is on the same page. It's probably safe to say most people are.

"So the morning commute and the evening commute home are just becoming unbearable," Rohan said.

The first phase of a $450 million construction project to expand Highway 65 aims to alleviate some of that congestion. On Tuesday, construction crews worked below the highway, drilling holes 100 feet into the ground to build the concrete pilings that will hold up new express lanes.

"Phase One is going to add a third lane that will run from the connector here at 65 to Pleasant Grove," Broadway said.

This phase is expected to be done by 2020.

Not only will it help traffic flow through Roseville and Rocklin, but local officials say it creates more room for growth.

Broadway says he expects Rocklin's population to grow by more than 10,000 people in the next decade.

"And then Roseville, of course, is growing," Broadway said. "Currently, I believe they're somewhere in the area of 140-150,000 and they're expected to grow up towards 200,000."

As more people move to Placer County, lawmakers there want to make sure the roads don't get too crowded.

"We don't want to see that happen. We want to continue to see good jobs here and continue to maintain our reputation of being a place where you can see a really good quality of life," Rohan said.

And city leaders want big businesses to keep moving to the area, too.

"Employers want happy employees and if you're sitting in traffic for 45 minutes just to get to work, you're not going to be very happy," Greg Roberson, incoming chair for the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce.

But as construction continues, leaders are asking drivers to be patient.

"We're going to do everything we can to avoid the disruptions that people already experience with the traffic congestion," Rohan said. "Adding construction in this area is going to be an important art."