Caltrans’ plan to widen Highway 101 between Petaluma and Novato inched forward this week with the state Transportation Commission approving a few more miles of extra lanes.

The biggest gain will be in Novato where a fourth northbound lane will be added from Highway 37 to north of Atherton Avenue — a distance of about four miles. A fourth southbound lane will be built from Rowland Boulevard to Highway 37 — a distance of a little more than a mile.

The Transportation Commission approved $38.8 million toward the work, which the Marin Independent Journal reported could start this May and take 18 months to complete. Caltrans bills this as the first phase of the Novato Narrows widening project.

Preliminary work is to start Monday when construction crews will start to cut down 105 trees between Highway 37 and Atherton Avenue. Caltrans says 28 trees will be planted in nearby riparian areas at some point during the widening project.

The commission also approved $22.8 million to widen Highway 101 from Pepper Road south one mile to Old Redwood Highway in Petaluma. That work also is expected to begin this year.

Caltrans already is widening 101 from Rohnert Park to Pepper Road.

The commission, as part of a $1 billion allocation spread among 107 projects statewide, also approved:

–$494,000 to create a roundabout at Highway 1 and Simpson Lane, just south of Fort Bragg.

–$2.6 million for storm repairs on Highway 101 near Rattlesnake Creek Bridge, about 12 miles north of Laytonville. That work includes building a retaining wall, redoing road shoulders and improving drainage.

–$10,000 for various improvements in Clearlake, including bike paths along Lakeview Way, sidewalks on Olympic Drive and bike lanes and sidewalks from Burns Valley Elementary School to Lakeshore Drive.

–$50,000 for bikeway from Nice-Lucerne cutoff at Westlake Drive to Highway 20 at Upper Lake.

To see the other projects approved around the state, CLICK HERE.

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  1. gary

    why are we spending money the state does not have!!!!!!! STOP

    January 21st, 2011 1:13 pm

  2. sonoma

    if ONLY they would put in a slow/pullout lane or a passing lane on 121 and 12 they would have magic, not a road rage like we have today. Just because some kids got toasted on old adobe was no reason to take out all passing lanes from Sonoma to Petaluma. I feel bad for the families but that will only create road rages which we have already seen between the two spots. Need passing and/or pull out 3rd lane for slow traffic.

    January 21st, 2011 1:24 pm

  3. Martin

    About time! I’m no fan of more roads, but the bottleneck between Petaluma and Novato is ridiculous – and I don’t even drive it on a regular basis.

    Raises taxes to pay for it. By all means, go for it. I’m willing to pay my fair share. Want to stop the insanity? Remove that damn bottleneck.

    January 21st, 2011 1:43 pm

  4. potter

    its about time. this should of been done 20 years ago. can you imagine all the loss of fuel being in traffic everyday. this country can afford it. stop the wasteful spending on wars and other crap. stop the insanity.

    January 21st, 2011 2:33 pm

  5. Ole

    I’m all for an extra lane on 101 N in Novato, but w/o at least extending a third lane to Olimpali State Park or the dump, then I just see the narrows getting worse. They really intend to go from 4 lanes to 2?

    January 21st, 2011 3:18 pm

  6. Misty

    Glad more lanes are going in on 101.. Well needed BUT More money for Bicycle lanes.. If we create special paths for them and special lanes they should have to start registering there bikes and getting Insurance like the rest of us drivers.. It will help off set the cost of the trails

    January 21st, 2011 3:46 pm

  7. safedriver

    I think no highway funds should be spent on any new roads until they fix all these broken roads we have now.

    January 21st, 2011 7:47 pm

  8. safedriver

    If you want more lanes, then get rid of those ridiculous commuter lanes and make them just regular lanes!

    January 21st, 2011 7:50 pm

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