Petaluma interchange work to enter new, louder stage

Construction often is a noisy business. That will be in evidence in Petaluma during the next few weeks as Caltrans begins pounding piles into the earth for the East Washington-Highway 101 interchange project.

Tree cutting and land clearing has been ongoing for the past couple of weeks as crews prep the site for a redesigned junction in the busy traffic zone.

Beginning Tuesday, that work will take on a new dimension as Caltrans begins driving piles along the northbound 101 route.

Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said the pile-driving is the first major step in a process that will build a new onramp from westbound East Washington Street directly onto northbound 101. Currently, westbound drivers must cross oncoming traffic and travel through a southbound loop before heading north.

The project will also include a new, straighter onramp from East Washington to southbound 101 and an expanded offramp from northbound 101 onto East Washington that will have double the existing lanes.

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