City: Rocklin Road on ‘life support’

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rocklin Road west of Granite Drive is a patchwork thoroughfare through the heart of Rocklin that’s starting to annoy drivers. Denise Demitru uses Rocklin Road everyday to get to class at Sierra College. “It’s pretty bad,” Demitru said. “If there is a pot hole on the road, you should fix it.” Demitru said her friend blew a tire after hitting a pot hole on Rocklin Road. “When it is dark and the pot hole is full of water, you can’t see it,” Demitru said. Barber Tim Veloz listens to cars rattle over the top of the uneven surface while he cuts hair at the Rocklin Barber Shop at Meyers Street. “I get complaints from customers all the time,” Veloz said. “People complain about how bumpy it is. A bad street says something about a city.” City council has now taken notice and is looking at a plan that would iron out the trouble. “I am getting more and more people asking me, ‘When is it going to be repaired?’” Councilman Peter Hill said. “The issue that I have is that I know we are going to be doing some roundabout work in the near future, but the condition of Rocklin Road is pretty bad.” The city is expected to start work as early as next April to create Rocklin’s first major roundabout at Meyers Street and Rocklin Road. The work hinges on federal funding that is set to expire. “We’ve always been successful in advancing these projects. I think we’ll be successful next year, but I can’t guarantee it,” City Engineer Larry Wing said. Otherwise citizens will have to wait until 2012 to get the federal funds once again through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The council will have to decide if they want to spend extra money to fix it now or just wait until the project starts. “Basically, Rocklin Road is on life support,” Rocklin Public Works Director Kent Foster said. “If we are going to have a really wet winter, we’re going to have a lot of pot holes. We need to put something down to at least hold it together.” Veloz watched city crews the last time they patched the road and he said the condition of the road actually got worse. “It seems like a big waste of money to repair it twice,” Veloz said. “If you are going to the trouble of repairing it, make sure that the repair is done correctly so it’s not worse than what it was.” Hill said a quick fix has to be done right. “If there is a way to smooth the road out without wasting money on something that will be torn up during construction of the roundabouts or causing problems with construction of the roundabouts, I certainly would consider it,” Hill said.  According to Foster, there are no easy answers. “It is very difficult to build something, spend money and then turn right around and have it ripped out,” Foster said. “How much time and money do we have, is what it comes down to.” Council is expected to weigh options at the Aug. 10 city council meeting. The public is welcome to give their feedback.