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Major roadway improvements ahead for Petaluma’s Maria Drive

The project includes installation of a recycled water main under Maria Drive, letting nearby schools and parks use it for irrigation purposes.|

Petaluma officials last week introduced a road rehabilitation project intended to improve Maria Drive, one of the city’s key connecting roads to schools, parks, residences, shopping centers and transit hubs on the east side.

The project, which was discussed in a Nov. 15 community workshop, will reconstruct the portion of Maria Drive between Rainier Avenue and South McDowell Boulevard, with the work expected to be completed by late 2023.

“As with any paving project, we will take full advantage of this opportunity to closely review ways to improve safety and accessibility,” said project manager and senior traffic engineer Ken Eichstaedt.

The project would not only install new pavement and roadway striping on Maria Drive, but would also bring about new and improved crosswalks and sidewalks, and would prohibit parking near intersections and crosswalks to improve visibility. It also looks to improve traffic signals at the Maria/East Washington intersection.

Additionally, the project aims to fix the depth of the roadway dips along the roadway near the East Washington intersection, as some residents expressed that they present concerns for those passing through with mobility impairments.

The project also includes the installation of a recycled water main under Maria Drive, which will give nearby schools and parks to use the recycled water for irrigation purposes.

According to the city website, “This portion of the project is part of our Recycled Water Expansion Program, which helps build the city’s water resiliency, providing added assurance that we have access to water.”

The city will pay for the project through its street maintenance funds and Measure U sales tax bonds.

Next steps in the project’s timeline include another public workshop in the spring to reveal its complete design, construction timeline and impacts. Construction is expected to start next summer, with project completion in the late winter.

Residents can continue to share feedback at cityofpetaluma.org/mariadriveimprovements.

Amelia Parreira is a staff writer for the Argus-Courier. She can be reached at amelia.parreira@arguscourier.com or 707-521-5208.

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