Community Meeting on Future of Trail-Rails on the Sacramento Placerville Transportation Corridor
Folsom City Councilwoman Kerri Howell told the board in 2011 that the railroad hardware belongs to the transportation corridor’s governing Joint Powers Authority and not to El Dorado County, although the county is a partner in the JPA. Howell said she was relaying the opinion of the JPA’s legal counsel and that of “many but not all members.” Howell represents Folsom on the JPA board of directors.
The JPA is a public entity formed in 1991 for the purpose of purchasing fifty three (53) miles of the Placerville Branch railroad right-of-way from Sacramento to Placerville, California. The JPA has four (4) member agencies, namely: The County of El Dorado, the City of Folsom, the County of Sacramento, and the Sacramento Regional Transit District.
The JPA purchased the Rail Corridor in 1996 and continues to own it for the purpose of preserving it for transportation uses, and coordinating usage and maintenance by the member agencies.
On or about January 28, 2008, the JPA issued a Request for Proposal ("RFP") to solicit proposals from fimts and individuals with experience, knowledge and qualifications necessary to operate an excursion rail service on a portion of the Rail Corridor covering approximately twenty six (26) miles situated between the "Folsom Wye" (approximately milepost 111) and Shingle Springs Station (approximately milepost 137). The R_FP required that the excursion rail service be operated without public subsidy and in such a manner as to preserve the excess width of the Rail Corridor for other potential uses, including natural trails, bicycle trails and equestrian trails.
The SPTC is comprised of the former 53-mile Southern Pacific Placerville Branch Railroad right of way. The study will analyze a 30-mile segment of the SPTC between Missouri Flat Road near the community of Diamond Springs in central El Dorado County and the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail in the city of Folsom.
The Humbug-Willow Creek Trail begins near the Mormon Island Cemetery and eventually connects with the East Natomas Trail that then heads northeast to a pedestrian bridge across the American River to connect to the American River Trail. Another branch of the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail in Folsom also branches off to end near where the unfinished frontage road of Saratoga Way in El Dorado County was supposed to connect to Folsom’s Iron Point Road.
The alternatives analysis will include evaluating opportunities and constraints as well as benefits and costs of providing transportation improvements within the corridor. The results of the analysis will provide public officials and the community with the data and information necessary to make informed decisions about which improvements will provide the public with the greatest benefit from the corridor.
“Today, the SPTC is an important but underutilized regional resource, however, its potential to be a community asset is great,” said Sharon Scherzinger, EDCTC executive director. “We plan to engage the community throughout the duration of the process to understand how they use the corridor today and what their vision is for the future.”
The community meeting will include a brief presentation, maps and information about the SPTC, as well as an opportunity for community members to provide their thoughts and ideas.
Questions about the community meeting can be directed to the project team at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-442-1168.
The Sacramento-Placerville Transportation Corridor Alternatives Analysis is being funded by a $210,000 Fiscal Year 2013/14 Caltrans Partnership Planning Grant.
The El Dorado County Transportation Commission is the Regional Transportation Planning Agency for El Dorado County. EDCTC represents regional transportation planning interests and is responsible for coordinating regional transportation for the western slope of El Dorado County and the city of Placerville.