Comstock's magazine 0519 - May 2019 - Page 35

FULL STEAM AHEAD Just as Sacramento’s past is conjoined to rail travel, so is its future. But there’s context: With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Sacramento “became the transportation center of the West in 1870,” says Earl Tobey, a guide at the California State Rail- road Museum. “People from all over the world congregated here to make their transportation plans by rail and river- boat.” To build and service its locomotives and cars, Southern Pacific established its maintenance shops north of what is now the central city. Those railyards expanded to 244 acres and at one time employed one-third of Sacramento’s labor force. Over the following decades, the land was sold to Union Pacific and underwent a $300 million cleanup of toxic sub- stances. The city consulted with a series of developers who tried and failed to reinvent the property. Then, in September 2005, developer LDK Ventures of Sacramento purchased all 244 acres. Its master plan is to transform the railyard into a mixed-use residential-retail-office extension of downtown, with parks, restaurants and a history museum, doubling the size of the central city. Committed so far are a Sacramento Superior Court building (construction starts this year), a Kaiser Permanen- te hospital and possibly a Major League Soccer stadium. The Railyards project is expected to take 20 years to com- plete and will be the most expensive infill challenge in Sac- ramento history. The coming of the Transcontinental Railroad trans- formed Sacramento into the city it is today. The railyards — a key legacy of the railroads’ permeating inf luence — will again shape Sacramento’s future. “That’s the essence of The Railyards project — taking the roots and history of Sacramento as a railroad town and carrying it forward in a similar but different format,” says LDK managing principal Denton Kelley and member of Comstock’s editorial board. “To see the impacts these types of projects have on the community and on families’ lives is very rewarding.” n Allen Pierleoni is a freelance writer in Sacramento. He worked for The Sacramento Bee as a writer and editor in the features department for 30 years. There is nothing “low-tech” about modern construction. In modern construction, time is everything. When projects are on the line, you can’t afford to let software issues, unreliable networks, and employee communication breakdowns slow you down. From bid selection and estimating through project tracking and completion, we deploy, maintain, and protect the software and support systems that construction industry leaders rely on. Learn more at, May 2019 | 35