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Plans announced for new 34-mile expressway connecting I-5 to Hwy. 50

However, board members say the funding source to the project is currently "unknown."

ELK GROVE, Calif. — Plans are underway for a 34-mile expressway that will connect Interstate-5 to Highway 99 just south of Elk Grove. 

The Sacramento Capital Southeast Connector project is 20 years in the making and will "reduce more than 500,000 hours per year of time spent sitting in traffic," according to the project website.

The route will follow Grant Line Road all the way to the southern part of Folsom, then crosses into El Dorado County where it will meet up Highway 50 at the new Silva Valley interchange. 

If you're wondering why this is being built in the first place, board members said it's being done to make commuting easier, to help with the growth of the Sacramento region, and to provide evacuation routes in case of natural disaster. Organizers said it would take approximately 10-15 years until the project is complete. 

The project will begin with phase one, which will include construction of four continuous lanes from I-5 and Hwy. 99 in Elk Grove to the Silva Valley interchange at Hwy. 50 in El Dorado Hills. The first phase will also see expanded at-grade intersections at all major access points, and a continuous path for pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians.

However, some hurdles, like funding, still stand in the way of the project. The project will cost roughly $450 million for just the first phase, and board members said the source of that funding is "unknown." The project will likely rely a lot on state and federal partners. 

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