Our first season of major levee improvement construction is in the books, and now we’re about to move into Year 2 on two southern basin projects that kicked off last spring. While one has been mostly tucked away out of view, the other has been hard to miss for many of you.

Construction on the Reach I segment (along Garden Highway between Northgate Blvd and Gateway Oaks Dr) began last July to construct a seepage cutoff wall on a nearly 2-mile-long stretch of Garden Highway from Northgate Blvd to Natomas Park Drive. While construction of the cutoff wall made quick progress, the team ran into some problems trying to reconnect utilities, forcing an unforeseen extended closure that continues today.

The Good News: Construction crews have worked through those issues and expect to reopen this section of roadway within the next few weeks.

The Not-So-Good News: We’ve still got more work to do.

As mentioned above, we started two sections of work last year that require two construction seasons. Construction on a seepage cutoff wall in our Reach H segment (levee adjacent to Northgate Blvd along Steelhead Creek between Del Paso Rd and Garden Highway) has mostly been out of sight to this point. That will change a little bit, as some road closures will hit this segment as well.

Here’s our current estimates for what you can expect to see this year as a result of our flood risk reduction work:

Beginning later this month:

Del Paso Rd/Main Ave will have intermittent, extended closures where it intersects with the levee along Steelhead Creek. This closure will intermittently block vehicles travelling east and west across the creek, and will detour them to another crossing.

April/May:

West El Camino Ave will have similar intermittent, extended closures where it intersects with the levee along Steelhead Creek. This closure will also block vehicles travelling east and west across the creek, and will detour them to the Arden-Garden Connector. West El Camino and Garden Highway will not be closed at the same time in order to limit traffic impacts.

May-July:

Garden Highway is scheduled to close for intermittent, extended closures between Natomas Park Drive and the Interstate 5 ramps. There will be no crossing the I-5 underpass during this time, and vehicles accessing the highway ramps from the east will be detoured around the closure.  Bicycle path accessibility will remain with a detour in Garden Highway’s eastbound #2 lane, which will have barriers separating cyclists from vehicle traffic. Again, West El Camino and Garden Highway will not be closed at the same time in order to limit traffic impacts.

July-September:

Garden Highway is scheduled to close for intermittent, extended closures between Gateway Oaks Drive and the Interstate 5 ramps. There will be no crossing the I-5 underpass during this time, and vehicles accessing the highway ramps from the west will be detoured around the closure.  Bicycle path accessibility will remain with a detour in Garden Highway’s eastbound #2 lane, which will have barriers separating cyclists from vehicle traffic.

Also this year:

Further west, we will be starting construction on our Reach B levee segment (Garden Highway between San Juan Rd and Power Line Rd), where we will be constructing an adjacent levee. This section of work is expected to take two construction seasons, and is scheduled to begin later this spring.

These schedules are all dependent on a number of factors, and are subject to change, but we’ll provide more information as we approach and proceed through each of these segments during the year.  We thank you for your continued patience as we complete this necessary work to reduce the risk of flooding in the Natomas Basin.