Highway 37 road repair closures between Sonoma and Solano counties delayed by a week

A rainy weather forecast forced the delay, according to Caltrans. The roadwork is a repair effort ahead of major scheduled improvements to the thoroughfare connecting Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties.|

Long-awaited work designed to reduce flooding and traffic delays on California State Route 37 that was once scheduled for this coming weekend has been postponed by at least a week, Caltrans announced Wednesday.

The weather forecast calls for rain on Saturday.

The paving improvements called the Solano Pavement Repair Project are rescheduled to start April 19 between Sears Point south of Sonoma and Mare Island in Vallejo, the state transportation department said.

Rainy weather has delayed the construction work involving one-way road closures with traffic diversions by at least a week. It was scheduled to start April 12. The critical 21-mile east-west thoroughfare that runs across Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties will see a shutdown of one section between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. (westbound) and until 5 a.m. (eastbound) from Friday nights to Monday mornings.

Westbound closures are set between State Route 29 in Vallejo to State Route 121 in Sonoma for the weekends of April 19 and 26. Eastbound closures are slated for the weekends of May 3 and 10.

Source: Caltrans
Traffic will be diverted on westbound State Route 37 on the weekends of April 19 and April 26
Source: Caltrans
Traffic will be diverted on State Route 37 on the weekends of May 3 and May 10.

The repairs, however, are weather contingent in a region that has experienced a long El Niño-driven rainy winter into late spring.

“We have to ride the bucking bronco of weather,” Caltrans district spokesman Bart Ney said.

Caltrans may need to tap into backup weekends starting May 17 if inclement weather persists.

The state agency contends the work is necessary to assure the highway doesn’t fail.

The road is scheduled for a major overhaul. There’s the $430 million short-term widening improvement for the Sonoma-to-Solano section and the more than $3 billion long-range plan to ultimately lift the highway. These proposals are designed to help alleviate traffic congestion and to combat sea-level rise. Major storms and King tides already contribute to flooding on the roadway.

The long-term goal involves elevating the road by 30 feet, a roughly proposed endeavor estimated to cost up to $4 billion.

Caltrans plans to start work on the far west end of the corridor for the Marin County flood reduction project on a 2-mile stretch at Novato Creek. The design is expected to finish in 2026, with building anticipated to start the following year. The project is due to be completed by 2040.

As for the Solano County side of the highway, transportation officials are exploring a $7 toll to help offset a $430 million price tag on a 10-mile section of the widening project.

Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, production, tech, energy, transportation, agriculture as well as banking and finance. She can be reached at 530-545-8662 or susan.wood@busjrnl.com

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