Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
Guest Editor: 02/15/2017

Highway 37 improvements are necessary and costly



By Sonoma County Supervisors David Rabbitt and Susan Gorin, and Mayor of Rohnert Park Jake Mackenzie

Highway 37 was closed for nearly half of January. This 21-mile east-west corridor carries 44,000 vehicles each day and provides a critical link for commuters, weekend trips and freight hauling.

Recent news stories about flooding correctly pointed out that local policy makers are working hard to figure out how to make the much-needed improvements happen quickly. It is not a simple nor easy task, but work is underway.

Two key facts have been established:

Initial studies conducted by Caltrans and U.C. Davis provide preliminary analysis about how sea level rise will impact the corridor. It is dramatic information that shows complete inundation by the end of this century.

Traffic counts and analysis have been conducted to identify who is using the corridor at certain locations. The results show an even split among the four counties but the direction of travel is very dependent on the time of day, with commuters going west in the morning and east in the evening.

There are five areas where action is underway:

1. Caltrans is pulling together plans and resources to raise the roadway where flooding occurred and pumping was needed.

2. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has a contract already in place to analyze alternatives for all the problems facing the Highway 37 corridor – traffic congestion, flooding during storm events, and other approaches such as bikeways, buses and rail. The $1 million evaluation of design alternatives will be completed in December 2017.

3. Decisions on if and how a proposal to privatize a portion of the roadway – from Sears Point to Mare Island – fits into the solution.

4. Community outreach through public meetings, websites and social media have begun and will ramp up in 2017 as we have more detailed concepts related to environmental impacts, design ideas and funding options.

5. Funding is the most significant challenge. State and federal transportation money will be needed for a project of this size – estimated costs far exceed $1 billion. And, at the same time, it is not the only large highway project we need to work on. In Sonoma, we need to finish Highway 101; plus there are important projects on Interstate 80 at 680 in Solano, on Highway 101 at 580 in Marin, and on Highway 29 in Napa.

The funding challenge has led to an exploration of charging drivers like a toll bridge. In other corridors where this approach has been used – such as the Golden Gate Bridge – the user fees help provide the funds for improving and maintaining the corridor.

As the three Sonoma representatives on the four-county policy committee, we ask for your help to find the best solutions.

If you want to keep informed, follow Highway 37 on Facebook www.facebook.com/route37/. To review the work projects related to the corridor – current and historic – please visit the Sonoma County Transportation Authority web site scta.ca.gov/projects/highway37/.

Supervisors Gorin and Rabbitt and Mayor Mackenzie all sit on Sonoma County Transportation Authority’s State Route 37 Policy Committee.



Recently Published:

11/01/2018 - No on Measure T – No blank check
11/01/2018 - Where is Oakmont headed?
11/01/2018 - Yes on Measure T
10/15/2018 - For SDC, let’s try something different
10/15/2018 - Remembering Guardians in the Land of Fire
09/01/2018 - Sonoma Development Center update
09/01/2018 - The promise of SDC: A community call to action
09/01/2018 - Yellowstone wolves: What happened when they came back, and what could happen here
08/15/2018 - Don’t gamble with Oakmont’s future
08/15/2018 - Apothevert should be granted a use permit
08/01/2018 - Keep commercial marijuana away from our parks
08/01/2018 - Oakmont residents should not pay to save Oakmont Golf Club
07/01/2018 - What does homelessness feel like?
07/01/2018 - Strangers in paradise
06/01/2018 - Transforming SDC: Don't tread on us

Community Calendar

Bill & Dave hike Trione-Annadel
11/17/2018
more...
Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Station 3990 food giveaway
11/17/2018
more...
Oakmont Farmers Market
11/17/2018
more...
The Free Bookmobile of Sonoma County
11/17/2018
more...
Mushroom Hike, 10 a.m.-noon
11/17/2018
more...
30 years of the Kenwood Press
11/17/2018
more...
‘Band of Seniors’ returns to Oakmont
11/17/2018
more...
Wreath workshop at Quarryhill
11/17/2018
more...
Commemorate Jack London’s death
11/17/2018
more...
Kenwood Community Church service
11/18/2018
more...
Oakmont Community Church service
11/18/2018
more...


Weather Underground PWS KCAKENWO2