Next step in Highway 101 relief

Replacing and widening the Highway 101 bridges over the Petaluma River is the next major step in a billion-dollar freeway project that has proceeded in spurts over the past decade -- and is now within a few years of completion.

The state is expected Wednesday to approve $82 million for construction that could begin this fall to replace the parallel spans over the Petaluma River that are one of the bottlenecks on the highway from Windsor to Marin County.

Also this fall, two of the most critical segments long under construction should open: Replacement of the Highway 101 overpass of Wilfred Avenue in Rohnert Park at a cost of $65.4 million and the widening of the freeway from Rohnert Park Expressway south to Petaluma Boulevard North at $148.2 million.

And work also should begin on a new $34.5 million interchange of Highway 101 at Airport Boulevard.

All of this construction over the next two years would leave completion of $950 million widening short by about $177 million.

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