News ReleaseCity of Roseville
Public Affairs & Communications Office
311 Vernon St.
Roseville, CA 95678
Phone: (916) 774-5362


Subject :

City, State and Regional Leaders Gather for Douglas Boulevard/I-80 Improvement Project Celebration to Open City's First Tunnel
Contact :William Boyer, Public Information Office    (916) 774-5201
Elected leaders and invited guests from throughout the region joined Roseville Mayor Gina Garbolino, and Caltrans Director Will Kempton to help celebrate the completion of the $35 million Douglas Boulevard/Interstate 80 Improvement Project and to formally open the City’s first-ever vehicle tunnel onramp during a special ribbon cutting ceremony and inaugural tunnel drive-through with pristine classic cars from the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  

The completion ceremony comes almost exactly 22 months after the groundbreaking occurred on Feb. 17, 2004—right at the same place where it all began at the entrance to the 800-foot-long tunnel now named after former Roseville Mayor Harry Crabb. 

“This is a regional project that benefits all motorists in Northern California, not just Roseville residents, who drive Interstate 80 between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe,” said Roseville Mayor Garbolino.  “It’s been 15 years in the making and we’re all looking forward to having the project completed and the tunnel open.” 

It is also the largest and most complex roadway improvement project in the City’s history and was designed to increase access to Interstate 80 (I-80) and to help improve vehicle circulation patterns at the Sunrise Avenue-Douglas Boulevard Intersection—the busiest intersection in Roseville.  Almost 100,000 cars per day travel through the intersection—many seeking to enter I-80 or having just exited the freeway—and engineers say the project’s most positive effect will be to remove about 15,000 cars per day that would otherwise travel through the intersection.

The Harry Crabb Tunnel is an engineering marvel that is as much as 40 feet underground where Douglas Boulevard crosses over it.  The tunnel has a 16-foot clearance height and is equipped with mechanical ventilation, carbon monoxide sensors, a fire detection system, interior lighting, water pumps and communications equipment.  To build the tunnel, more than 60,000 cubic yards of dirt were removed by workers under the direction of R.L. Brosamer, Inc., the general contractor. 

Joining Garbolino and Kempton on stage for the ceremony was California State Assemblyman Tim Leslie, Celia McAdam, Executive Director for the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency and members of the Roseville City Council. 

Roseville Public Works Director Rob Jensen presented a plaque of appreciation to his predecessor, Larry Pagel, for the former Public Works Director’s efforts that began more than 15 years ago to get the project going. 

Garbolino made the formal announcement of the tunnel’s new name and presented Harry Crabb with a commemorative, small-scale duplicate of the tunnel sign that now bears his name.  Crabb served on the Roseville City Council for about 20 years, including eight years as mayor during four different two-year terms between 1980 and 2000.

After the formal program, invited guests and officials gathered in front of the tunnel entrance for the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony.  After cutting the ribbon, officials took seats inside more than a dozen classic cars from the 1930s, 40s and 50s—many valued at more than $80,000—for the inaugural ride through the tunnel.  The showcase cars were provided courtesy of the Townsmen Car Club, a local group of car enthusiasts who preserve pre-1970s vehicles. 

Garbolino said the project “could not have happened were it not for the visionary leadership of previous City Council members who recognized the need for improvements, worked to fund them and to create partnerships with federal, state, county and other regional agencies” to make the project a reality. 

“City staff is also to be commended for their long-term dedication to this project and for working closely with our partners, Caltrans and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency to ensure the vision was carried out.” 

Most of the $35 million project cost—about $24.3 million—came from development-paid traffic mitigation fees collected by the City during the past 15 years.  The rest, about 10.7 million, came from a combination of federal and state highway funds.