The long-debated will finally begin to become real for Carmichael residents when the first phase breaks ground around mid-April, Sacramento County officials on Tuesday told small business owners.
Construction at the intersection of Fair Oaks and Marconi Avenue will be under way soon, Patrick Carpenter, principal civil engineer with the county's design section, told attendees at a luncheon at .
"I'm excited we can be breaking ground soon," said Carpenter, adding that the winning bid for the first phase came in at about $949,000, less than the county's anticipated amount of $1.2 million.
The project calls for a "Main Street" revitalization to Carmichael's main thoroughfare, moving traffic along more smoothly and becoming more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Small business owners say it's welcome and long overdue.
"I drive down the corridor every day to get to work and what they're doing is fantastic," said Jeff Haas, store manager at . "My business is around the curve (where Fair Oaks Blvd. splits into Manzanita Avenue) but I can only think it will make it easier for customers to get into my business and others."
One issue that had concerned residents and small business owners alike was whether to make the boulevard a six lane road or a four-lane hybrid one with bike lanes and landscaping, said Tricia Stevens, a county principal planner. The decision was made to go forward with the four-lane road.
The project calls for wider sidewalks, more bike lanes and bus turnouts and synchronized traffic signals, Carpenter said.
"I'm really proud of the community and what's come together," Stevens said.