FAIRFIELD — Spring rains are fading and spring road projects are beginning to bloom.
Some are big indeed, such as building a new Green Valley Road interchange along Interstate 80. Others are as small as filling in a pothole.
Here is a look at some of the local public works projects scheduled for 2014.
Fairfield Oliver Road Park-and-Ride lot
Fairfield in July could start building a 180-space, $2 million park-and-ride lot at Oliver Road and Hartford Avenue.
The city’s goal is to ease crowding at the Fairfield Transportation Center about a half-mile away. Commuters going there to park while taking buses, van pools and car pools have long complained that they cannot find parking spaces. Some have gotten tickets for trying to park in the parking lots of nearby shopping centers.
These 180 spaces at the Oliver Road lot will make another option available.
“I don’t know if it will completely solve the problem, but it will help,” Assistant Public Works Director for Transportation Wayne Lewis said.
A key will be convincing the car poolers and van poolers to use the Oliver Road lot. That would make the Transportation Center available for bus riders, since the center is a major bus hub.
Green Valley interchange
This will be the area’s biggest road project to get launched in 2014, the first phase of a seven-phase plan to ease traffic tie-ups near the Interstates 80 and 680 interchange.
Westbound I-80 in this area has rush-hour traffic conflicts. Autos pull into the I-80 righthand lane from Green Valley Road and try to merge with freeway traffic. Meanwhile, vehicles on I-80 move into the righthand lane to exit onto Highway 12 leading through Jameson Canyon. These two streams come together over a short distance.
The $116 million project calls for building a new Green Valley interchange along I-80 near the present structure. New ramps will be built leading from I-80 to Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon, including a bridge structure separator similar to the one at the new, eastbound I-80 truck scales.
Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon
Relief should finally be in sight for motorists who have been driving through this 6-mile-long construction project for two years.
Workers are turning a narrow, two-lane road into a four-lane road with a concrete median barrier. They have finished the 3-mile portion in Napa County, but have more to do on the 3-mile Solano County portion.
The state Department of Transportation expects the project to be finished this summer, perhaps in August.
Highway 12 near Rio Vista
Work crews are adding left turn lanes to Highway 12 at Currie, McCloskey and Azevedo roads. They will widen the shoulders from Azevedo Road to Summerset Road, a distance of about a mile.
Caltrans designed the $12 million project to improve safety. Various other sections of Highway 12 between Suisun City and Rio Vista in recent years have undergone such improvements as having wider shoulders added and rolling hills smoothed out.
Suisun City road projects
Suisun City plans to do $590,000 worth of maintenance work on Walters Road between Bella Vista Drive and Petersen Road.
The southern stretch between Petersen Road and Klamath Way is to get an overlay. Work is to begin this summer. This is a four-lane road.
“There will always be at least one lane each direction operating,” Suisun City Public Works Director Dan Kasperson said.
Sections of Walters Road to the north within the city are to get spot repairs.
A traffic signal is to be installed at the intersection of Walters Road and Pintail Drive in late summer. The goal is to help drivers on Pintail Drive making left turns on Walters Road.
“It’s a busy intersection,” Kasperson said. “It funnels a lot of traffic from the subdivisions there.”
Vacaville road projects
Vacaville will see Browns Valley Road widened to 40 feet north of Vaca Valley Parkway.
This is in connection with housing developments, Assistant Public Works Director Shawn Cunningham said. The road had been in the rural county and needs to be improved to city standards, he said.
Work should begin in June and take three to four months, he said.
“It’s likely there’s a period of time we’ll have to detour folks,” Cunningham said. “It will be a little bit of an inconvenience for people for a while.”
A related project is taking the top of the hill on Shelton Lane down several feet so the vertical curve won’t be as sharp. This also is a road that Vacaville took over from the county and is bringing up to city standards.
The city will be doing asphalt overlays at a total cost of $1.8 million, Cunningham said. The areas are Leisure Town Road, Allison Drive at Interstate 80, a portion of Browns Valley Road and Depot Street. The last city overlay project was in 2012.
Work should begin in June and be finished by August or September, Cunningham said.
Also, the city will put slurry seals on local streets for the first time since 2008, a sign of improving economic conditions. Cunningham said the seals, which will cost just less than $1 million, keep water out of the streets. Work again is to begin in June and be finished by September.
Areas targeted for slurry seals are residential neighborhoods in the eastern city near Nut Tree Road, Alamo Drive, Leisure Town Road and Orange Drive.
Rio Vista road projects
Rio Vista will replace sewer lines this summer and fall in areas where the lines are worn, primarily the older parts of the town, Public Works Director David Melilli said. That will lead to repaving sections of roads, depending on how much a road needs to be torn up for a repair, he said.
The city will be painting street stripes, painting curbs for limited park and upgrading crosswalks in parts of town, including in the downtown, he said.
It will do slurry seal projects on Second Street, Marina Drive and Beach Drive.
Rural Solano County projects
Solano County this year will continue building the replacement Winters Road Bridge over Putah Creek near Winters at a cost of $12.2 million.
Workers a few months ago put up a temporary bridge and demolished the 1908 span. In coming months, they will be doing the foundation work in the creek bed for the new bridge.
In about midsummer, workers should be ready to start on the structure of the new bridge, county Engineering Manager Matt Tuggle said.
The county each year puts chip seals on about 40 miles of rural roads at a cost of about $2 million. Chip seals involve putting oiled gravel on the roads to prolong their lives.
This spring, the county plans to put chip seals on roads in the Dixon and Rio Vista areas. Some of the roads are Montezuma Hills, Birds Landing, Little Honker Bay, Binghampton, Liberty Island and Hackman roads.
Also, the county will apply magnesium chloride to 25 miles of gravel, rural roads to control dust near homes and certain farm work areas.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.