Citrus Heights trail to start construction after COVID delay

The 2.9-mile long Arcade-Cripple Creek Trail in Citrus Heights is expected to complete next year after being approved in 2019.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. — The once delayed Citrus Heights Arcade-Cripple Creek Trail is expected to resume construction this fall, according to city engineers.

The nearly 3-mile, multi-use loop trail will connect seven parks to a neighborhood, several schools and Sunrise Mall. The route will start at Wachtel Way and end at the Sunrise MarketPlace area, once complete.

The trail will be 10-feet wide with two-foot-wide granite shoulders to protect walkers and bikers while working to minimize impact to existing trees.

This project is planned to have GHD, Inc. provide engineering support services through construction. Coastland Civil Engineering is contracted to perform construction management, inspection and material testing services during the construction phase of the project.

The project was estimated to cost about $6.7 million but almost all of the costs for the project came in at higher numbers than the estimated project report, according to a staff report.

City council approved $10.4 million for the project’s various needs, including an $846,600 contingency for other costs, Thursday. The increase in price is in part due to a volatile market, material supply chain issues, inflation and labor shortages, according to the report.

Funding is primarily from grants from various city groups.

“We expect to start construction by fall and the project itself should take about a year to complete,” city engineer Leslie Blomquist said.

This project is part of the city’s goal to increase walkability and safety by improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the community’s system of creekside trails, parks and open spaces, according to the Citrus Heights city website.

“I live near Tempo Park and frequently walk multiple sections of the proposed trail,” wrote resident Steve Wigginton to city council. “This trail project will make our community a better place… I look forward to enjoying the improvements this project will bring and the positive impact it will have on my lifestyle and the community.”

Residents with children may be affected as the route runs through some of the San Juan Unified School District in Citrus Heights. Woodside K-8 and other nearby schools will have a direct route from their homes to school and parks.

“We are excited for this project,” said Raj Rai, director of communication for the district. “Projects such as these are so important to our schools as they open up access to our community and provide a safe transportation route for students and families.”

Some security measures will be implemented for the new route, including ensuring that the entire route is lit, adding new crosswalks to public roadways and removing barriers to existing floodways.

Citrus Heights Police Ltd. Wesley Herman says city engineers worked closely with the police to ensure there were crime prevention tactics in line with the environmental design of the trail.

“We’re going to be able to drive these routes,” said Herman. “We don’t expect a negative impact on crime at all. Anytime the community can gather outdoors together is good… [The trail will create] a walkable, rideable, vibrant city.”

Visitors should be mindful that there are no new drinking fountains being planned, but the trail connects multiple public spaces with facilities for use, according to Blomquist.

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