Corps to resume Natomas levee work, close Garden Highway on April 23

Published April 22, 2020

SACRAMENTO, California – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will resume major levee improvement construction in the Lower Natomas Basin beginning April 23, 2020, closing a portion of Garden Highway to all traffic.

Garden Highway between the Interstate 5 southbound ramps and Gateway Oaks Drive will be closed to all traffic in both directions, requiring travelers to take alternate routes, including cyclists who use the bicycle path. 

Construction crews are improving the levees surrounding the Natomas Basin, which in some locations includes installation of a seepage cutoff wall approximately 50 feet deep into the center of the levee. In the lower basin, Garden Highway sits atop the levee in some areas, which means the only way to construct levee improvements is to shut down the roadway.

“We want to take advantage of this opportunity when people aren’t travelling as much due to the stay-at-home order,” said John Hoge, senior project manager for the Corps’ Sacramento District. “Starting now allows us to push up our schedule for this portion and hopefully minimize the inconvenience for the local community.”

Originally scheduled to occur later this summer, the Corps and its partners determined re-sequencing the project order would be helpful to avoid closing the road later, when more commuters are likely to be driving again once Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order is lifted.

Drivers, and cyclists, will be detoured to Gateway Oaks and West El Camino Ave. From here, drivers can access the highway to get to their destination. Cyclists will have to continue to Natomas Park Drive to get back onto Garden Highway. Access into Discovery Park is not impacted by the Corps project.

Similar levee improvements still need to be made between Interstate 5 and Natomas Park Drive, and an extended closure of this section will be required in the coming months. Construction crews cannot start here until levee improvement work on West El Camino Ave concludes in May because the Corps committed to not closing both West El Camino Ave and Garden Highway east of I-5 at the same time. 

This work is part of the “American River Common Features – Natomas Basin” project authorized by Congress in 2014. It will ultimately reinforce 42 miles of levee surrounding the Natomas Basin in partnership with the State of California and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency. Levee improvements will continue for the next several years and may require additional road closures. The project is scheduled for completion in 2024.    

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Tyler Stalker

Release no. 20-014