New street plan would open up more Bridge District development

West Sacramento is planning traffic additions and improvements in its Bridge District to open up more sites for development.

Under a plan to be discussed by the city council tonight, a new intersection would be built at Grand and Casey streets in the district, along with a new at-grade railroad crossing.

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That would make access easier for a second phase of the mixed-use project West Gateway Place, said Aaron Laurel, the city’s economic development director.

“The big benefit is it creates more capacity for development,” he said, adding the infrastructure work was envisioned in the city’s original plan for the Bridge District. Best known for Raley Field, the district is a former industrial area that the city is trying to redevelop with high-density housing and mixed-use residential and commercial development.

Though not often used, a rail line through the district provides access to the city’s port. The Grand-Casey intersection would also improve safety by allowing the city to close nearby Delta Lane and its rail crossing to vehicle traffic, though bikes and pedestrians would be allowed through. Grand would be extended from the north, while Casey would be a new east-west street built from Fifth Street, south of the current intersection with Delta.

Laurel said the city has started talks with West Gateway developer Jamboree Housing about a planned second phase of West Gateway, on city-owned land next to the nearly complete mixed-use project. With state grant money previously received for infrastructure improvements in the Bridge District, the city is obligated to develop another 51 affordable and 44 market-rate housing units in the neighborhood.

Also, there would be better access for a closed truck repair facility on Delta Lane south of West Gateway, Laurel said. City leaders are interested in seeing that site redeveloped into housing.

If the city council signs off on the new street alignment, Laurel said, the next step is applying for funding for the improvements. One possibility is state cap-and-trade dollars, which will be available in late spring or early summer. While the city could also get money for early work for West Gateway’s second phase through that source, the timing might be too soon, he said.

A better bet is the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s allotments for local projects, which would be granted next year. That would allow work to start on the new alignment and intersection in summer 2018, Laurel said.

The staff report for the council indicates total project costs at about $4 million.

Article and image provided by: Sacramento Business Journal

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