The California Transportation Commission on Wednesday approved $82 million to replace the parallel spans of Highway 101 over the Petaluma River.

The construction work, which could start this fall and take two years, is a major part of the widening of Highway 101 through Sonoma County and the Novato Narrows.

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority also also applied for $32.4 million to replace the Highway 101 bridges over Highway 116.

Sonoma County is well along on its effort to widen Highway 101 from Windsor to the Marin County line, at a cost of $950 million.

It still would need $145 million to widen the freeway from Petaluma Boulevard North to the Marin County line, completing the widening project.

-- Bob Norberg