REDDING, Calif. - A new construction project in Redding could widen parts of Interstate 5 from four to six lanes if approved next week.
Shasta Regional Transportation Agency director Dan Little said everyday, a little more than 50,000 passenger vehicle drive along I5 in the North State.
“If you just stood at one point on I5 for 24 hours, you'd see 52,000 cars come through,” Little said. “So 52,000 cars and then heavy trucks, that's another 8-thousand two-hundred on average daily.”
And all that traffic can slow down significantly around areas where traffic is reduced from six lanes to four.
“Especially at 5 to 5:30 where it bottlenecks back down to two lanes on southbound, you'll see stop and go traffic at times or on holidays,” Little said.
In total, the project will cost around $126 million to widen a seven and a half mile stretch of I5.
And $65.7 million of that amount would come from funds generated by SB-1.
Planning for the project bagan back in 2006, and Little says he honestly didn't think he would see it happen in his career.
And they could see construction begin as early as next year.
“So without the gas tax, I don't know how long we'd be waiting for this project,” Little said.
The project would also rebuild one portion of I5 that runs over parts of the Union Pacific railroad.
“This will take care of that overcrossing where the bridge supports of Interstate 5 are too close to the railroad tracks and too low to the railroad tracks to meet safety standards,” Little said.
But that could all come to a screeching halt if Californian's vote to repeal the gas tax as it heads to the ballot in November.
But Little remains confident the project will get funded when he goes before the California Transportation Commission in San Diego next week.
“And if the staff recommendation sticks, fingers crossed then we'll get the funding,” he said. “So we feel like we're in a pretty good position now.”
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