Elk Grove's 5 Year Plan Emphasizes Kammerer Road But Already Plagued by Funding Shortfalls, Cost Overruns

Proposed Kammerer Road extension seeks to connect Highway 99 to Interstate 5 in Elk Grove. | 

May 7, 2018 |  

When the Elk Grove City Council meets this Wednesday night, one item that will be under review is a five-year capital improvement plan. The plan, which is put together by the city public works department, focuses on improvement projects ranging from small projects a remodel of the receptionist area at city hall to more far-ranging plans including the hotly pursued Kammerer Road extension project.

In the three-page introduction letter introducing the proposed plan, Kevin Bewsey, Interim Capital Program Manager acknowledges the importance of the Kammerer Road project for the city council saying "it is the top infrastructure priority for Elk Grove." The project, the report notes, is currently undergoing environmental studies. 

Plans call for the road to be extended to I-5 from its current terminus just west of Highway 99. Although long-term plans for the road are to be four-lane, and ultimately a part of the larger Capital Southeast Connector project linking I-5 in Elk Grove to U.S. 50 in El Dorado Hills, immediate plans call for a two-lane road for the five-year improvement plan.

The report also acknowledges some of the leading challenges for the project and the larger Connector road. Those challenges are cost overruns already incurred and finding viable funding sources.

Bewsey notes even though the project is only in the review stage, the cost overruns have gone over budget by 22-percent. The cost was first pegged at $55 million but are now estimated at a minimum of $67.2 million.

The reason for the cost overruns in the earliest phase of the extension plans include the necessity to raise the road by an additional five feet because of the 100-year floodplain,  an additional section of road planned between Willard Parkway southward to intersect with the Kammerer Road and higher expected construction costs.

As for funding, Bewsey's report says that $29.1 million in funding is unsecured. Possible grants could come from a variety of state and federal sources, though none are guaranteed.

The complete plan can be viewed here. The Wednesday meeting will be held at City Hall and starts at 6 p.m. 

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

While saying the project is being "plagued" by cost overruns might be an overstatement, there is a troubling aspect to how this plan is starting. In the engineers, who I am guessing are contracted through one of the city contractors, were not aware that the road was not high enough to accommodate the 100 year flood plain is inexcusable.

If it was the failure of a contracted engineer, are there any consequences or will the city simply pay for this error and proceed along like nothing happened?

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