Traveling over Folsom Lake Crossing should prove safer for motorists as several long-awaited safety improvements have now been completed. The Folsom Lake Crossing and East Natoma Street traffic safety enhancement project was completed as of last week.
The recently completed project is part of the city’s ongoing effort to improve safety, reduce accidents, and increase mobility in key corridors. Prior to the improvements, Folsom Lake Crossing has been host to numerous serious injury and fatal accidents, many of which were head on collisions.
The components of the project including the installation of metal beam median barriers in three key locations. Those locations included Folsom Lake Crossing between the auxiliary spillway and the Johnny Cash Bridge, spanning 1,625 feet; East Natoma Street, stretching from Folsom Lake Crossing to Gionata Way, covering 520 feet. A barrier was also installed on Folsom Auburn Road between Folsom Dam Road and Pinebrook Drive, a distance of 840 feet.
In addition to the long-awaited barriers, the project scope also included the application of a rubberized friction surface treatment to enhance road safety. Radar speed feedback signs were installed to raise awareness to motorists. The roadway also received updated pavement markers and signage.
The improved segments of the roadway were identified in a 2021 Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) which was a a data-driven analysis of major traffic collisions, which identified the appropriate corrective measures to reduce traffic accident fatalities and serious injuries on all roads.
Using data obtained from the analysis, the city was then awarded a State Highway Safety Improvement Program grant to install median barriers, radar feedback signs and segment reflectivity. City Engineer Ryan Chance previously explained that the city hired an engineering consultant back in January 2022 to design the safety improvement projects, a process that went on for approximately 12 months. Folsom Lake Crossing was originall designed and constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers and opened to traffc in March of 2009.
Part of the process in receiving the grant funds required documented accident data for roadway between the times of 2015 and 2019. That specific data revealed one fatal accident and one severe injury accident each in that time on Folsom Lake Crossing between Folsom Dam Road and the Johnny Cash Trail entrance; East Natoma Street, between Folsom Lake Crossing and Gionata Way, and Folsom Auburn Road between Pinebrook Drive and Folsom Dam Road.
Additionally, those same segments of the roadways reported 10 other visible injury incidents, 14 complaint of pain incidents and 20 property damage incidents. Additional accidents have occurred following the period of the analysis as well.
According to the City of Folsom, the Public Works Department is seeking additional federal funding to extend the median barrier even further throughout Folsom Lake Crossing to enchance motorist safety even more.