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Contract to widen Arnold Drive for bike path rolls ahead

Contract to widen Arnold Drive for bike path rolls ahead

Plans will be drawn to widen bike lanes on both sides of busy valley corridor

By Jay Gamel

In early 2017, First District Supervisor Susan Gorin was delighted for the county’s Board of Supervisors to award $250,000 to complete a feasibility study for widening Arnold Drive between Country Club Drive (at the Sonoma Golf Club) and Madrone Road to accommodate additional bike lanes on both sides of the road. She was even more pleased at the likelihood of awarding a contract to provide design and engineering services for the project at the board’s regular meeting on July 13.

“Amy Harrington proposed widening Arnold Drive’s bike lane by a foot on either side, and I said ‘You bet,’” Gorin recalled. “Seven years and three directors of the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works later, we are making progress.” Harrington, a long-time bicycle advocate, attorney, mother, and cancer survivor, recently resigned from the Sonoma City Council for personal reasons.

On July 13, supervisors were expected to approve “a five-year professional services agreement with GHD Inc. in the amount of $540,740, plus a 10 percent contingency of $54,074, for a total not-to-exceed amount of $594,814, to provide design and engineering services” for the lane widening, expected to be built by 2025. Gorin hopes to speed up that timeline.

The successful bidder was GHD Inc., an international engineering and consulting company that recently completed a major traffic study in the Sonoma Valley related to a new winery event ordinance under development.

The project is supported with grant funding from the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and the county, which draws on annual allocations from the state’s Highway Users Tax and additional state funds.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Gorin said. “It has long been a goal of cyclists in Sonoma Valley to create safe bike lanes on Arnold Drive.”