The heavily used Folsom Dam Road was closed to the public in 2003, due to concerns of possible terrorist attacks at the dam. The closure re-routed about 18 thousand cars a day through Folsom’s historic district.
A constant stream of cars flies by on Riley Street, which passes through the middle of the district. Bobbi Eddy, whose Not Too Shabby shop is right on Riley, has a front window view of the traffic:
It never stops. Even at night when I’m here working late at night, painting or cleaning something up, it never stops.
Next door at Katrina’s, fellow business owner Milicia Domanovich is also frustrated:
The traffic is always so busy, it’s unbelievable, it’s unbelievable.
Both business owners say the traffic has ruined the quaint atmosphere of the historic district.
District resident Jeff Ferreira-Pro agrees. He was happy to attend groundbreaking activities yesterday for the new bridge:
Everyone has felt sort of this sense of doom and gloom, because how were we ever going to get rid of all these cars?
About 100 people, including Folsom’s mayor, congressional representatives and bridge engineers showed up for the groundbreaking. Congressman Dan Lungren
represents the city as part of his district. He says it isn’t just Folsom that’sbeen affected by the closure of the road:
The road across the dam had become a major artery for traffic from El Dorado over to Placer County, into Sacramento County, and when it had to be closed off for security reasons, it caused a huge problem for this area.
The new, one thousand foot bridge will be located about a half mile downstream from the dam, so security is no longer a concern.
The bridge is initially expected to handle about 26 thousand cars per day. But Colonel Ron Light with the Sacramento branch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says planners have thought ahead:
We’ve actually designed this bridge for a fifty year level of traffic, so we’ve projected out a long ways, so the bridge will hold traffic well into the future.
Construction of the
new span will actually begin next month. The cost is about 115 million dollars, with the city paying for about one third of that and the federal government picking up the rest. Officials hope to finish the project in December 2008. That won’t be soon enough for shop owner Milicia Domanovich:
I hope they build that bridge as soon as possible.