The City and community partners on Friday, Feb. 22 celebrated the completion of the Ramona Avenue extension.
The project improves pedestrian and vehicular connectivity to the north and south of Highway 50 with an extension of Ramona Avenue from Brighton Avenue to Folsom Boulevard near Sacramento State.
Elected officials, representatives from Sacramento State, community partners, and city staff on Friday gathered at the Sacramento State campus in an area overlooking the new extension for an official ribbon cutting.
“I am proud of this achievement; it took a lot to get here,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris during the press event. “I am proud of public works for taking it to the finish line.”
Construction started spring 2018, but the planning efforts began more than 20 years ago. The City negotiated with private land owners and Union Pacific to extend the roadway.
From the Sacramento State campus, the road connects to a 225-unit student housing project called The Crossings. The housing community provides more than 750 beds to the students of Sacramento State. Additionally, the new road provides access to a planned future site of the Sacramento Center for Innovation.
“The Ramona Avenue extension opens up the possibility for a future innovation center, said Vice Mayor Eric Guerra. “This is more than just a signal light; this is more than just a crossing; this is connectivity to the best use of our land.”
The planned innovation center is located south of Sacramento State and to the west of the Granite Regional Park development area. The 2030 General Plan identified the area as an Opportunity Area, changed the land use designation from Industrial to Employment Center and recommended further land use refinement.
The innovation center will be designated to foster the exchange of technical knowledge and expertise between students, faculty and innovative businesses and technology companies.
Steve Perez, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Sacramento State, said they believe the road helps the university become another anchor institution in the Sacramento region.
“This road will help us ‘literally’ get out of our geographic bounds in one other direction than we have been able to do before,” Perez said.
The Ramona Avenue extension was a collaborative effort from several stakeholders. Power Inn Alliance, a property-based business improvement district established in 2006 to advocate for business, transportation and community in the area, was one of the proponents for the project.
“Connectivity is one of the most important things we can do as a business improvement district,” said Tracey Schaal Executive Director of Power Inn Alliance. “This (Ramona Avenue extension) will help create more synergies within the district.”
The road extension and new intersection will also offer students and the community greater bicycle and pedestrian access to Sacramento State. Overall project construction included:
- New signalized intersection at Ramona Avenue/Folsom Boulevard
- New connection under Highway 50 for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians
- Widening the roadway on Folsom Boulevard
- New at-grade rail crossing
- New curbs, sidewalk, and median
- Streetscape and Public Art Installation
The Ramona Avenue extension was made possible by a funding strategy that combined developer, state, local and federal grant money. The project’s total cost was $6.9 million.