A Caltrans map of the proposed remodeled interchange at the Redwood Landfill north of Novato along Highway 101. Click to enlarge

Caltrans this month took a step closer to reshaping Highway 101 between the Sonoma-Marin County line south toward Novato.

The state Transportation Commission approved $1.492 million to complete design work for a redesigned interchange at the Redwood Landfill just north of Novato and $400,000 to finish designing a realignment a curve along 101 near San Antonio Creek.

Caltrans spokesman Robert Haus said that as part of the landfill interchange project, which is scheduled to start next summer, frontage roads with bike lanes will be built on both sides of 101, with the one on the westside stretching from San Antonio Road south to Olompali State Historic Park. The frontage roads will allow Caltrans to eliminate Olompali and San Antonio Road’s intersections with 101 as well as those of private driveways.

“This will upgrade this stretch of 101 from ‘highway’ status to ‘freeway’ status,” Haus said.

Eventually, 101 from Novato to Petaluma will be widened to three lanes in each direction as part of Caltrans’ Novato Narrows project.

Haus said Caltrans hasn’t yet obtained the private land to build the frontage roads through, both of which at points will run through current dairyland.

He said the frontage roads and revised landfill interchange is estimated to cost $74 million. The San Antonio curve realignment, designed to improve safety and reduce flooding at the creek, is estimated at $71 million with a construction start tentatively set for late 2014.

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