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City uses gas tax money for quick Rocklin Road fix

By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
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After weeks of agonizing over whether to fix or not to fix the city’s main thoroughfare, Rocklin Road, the council finally voted Tuesday night to make the repairs. According to the city engineer, the Meyers Street roundabout and Grove Street roundabouts will essentially tie into each other when they start construction next year. That leaves a total of nearly one mile of Rocklin Road that won’t be touched; from west side of the I-80 interchange and a section from Grove Street to Pacific Street. Several Rocklin residents told city council they wanted the repairs if they were cheap. Rocklin resident Jerry Mitchell told them he didn’t want the roundabouts to be delayed or scrapped due to the need for the road repairs. “There are a few patches and people would like it to be better, but if we could stay with the program and get on with it, the better result will be for everyone,” Mitchell said. “Roundabouts are great and I’m excited about putting them in place.” “There are a few patches and people would like it to be better, but if we could stay with the program and get on with it, the better result will be for everyone,” Mitchell said. “Roundabouts are great and I’m excited about putting them in place.” Mayor Scott Yuill said the alternative of doing nothing is not a good option. “I know a lot of folks’ cars are damaged by driving over the choppy road,” Yuill said. “I’ve had a lot of comments and questions about it, so something has to be done.” Rocklin Public Works Director Kent Foster presented several ideas with varying price tags and all intended to get a smoother ride for residents before the anticipated roundabouts begin to be constructed at Meyers Road in 2011, Grove Street in 2012 and possibly Granite Drive by 2013. Foster warned the council, putting recommended $90,000 into the quick fix would be all for nothing once the roundabouts begin. “This is temporary in nature and is not intended to be permanent repairs to the roadway,” Foster said. “When the roundabout is constructed (at Meyers Street) that road would be removed and a new roadway would go in.” Most of the funding would come from gas tax and state funds as well as several thousands from the city’s already strapped budget. It would pay for repairs that would dig out some of the rough areas and repave the spots to smooth it out. The repair will be done by a contractor and not by busy understaffed public works crews and is expected to last between two to three years, according to Foster. The city council unanimously approved the plan. “It’s well worth the money,” said councilman Peter Hill. The city is expected to start construction, weather permitting, on the Rocklin Road fix this fall.