Here’s a question from a reader:

What is the schedule for repaving of Old Redwood Highway between Petaluma and Cotati? This is a heavily traveled road and has not been improved for a century. It’s not a coincidence it is called “Old.”

What is the county supervisors’  solution to the poor repaving done a couple of years ago on Occidental, West Sierra, and Crane Canyon roads? The county used a repaving technique (chip seal) that rendered these roads worse than before the application. This was a terrible choice of paving, and quite honestly, if this was private business, the person making that decision would have been fired. Joe

The answers come from Stephen  B. Urbanek,  pavement preservation manager for the Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works Department.

On Old Red, he says the department has no plans to repave that stretch of road.

As for the chip sealing work, he says the roads actually “are performing as expected” four years after the work.  He says the county chip sealed those and other roads because even though such roads may look like they’re in good shape, from a road maintenance perspective, that’s the perfect time to do the work — to rejuvenate and seal them with fresh oil to help keep them from cracking and developing pot holes and worse. He notes that chip sealing costs $70,000 to $100,000 a lane mile while reconstruction costs $700,000 to $1 million a lane mile, so “it’s a cost-effective treatment.” He acknowledges chip sealed roads are rougher for bicyclists.

Here’s another question from a reader:

Your recent blog on sound walls has prompted me to ask what will happen to the areas recently denuded of trees along the East Washington on and offramps in Petaluma. I understand the trees were cut down to expand the ramps, but it looks horrible — and provides no screen to cover the new building that will be done on both sides, not to mention the loss of bird habitat. Wondering if more trees will be planted?  Sheri

The answer comes from Caltrans spokesman Robert Haus, who, in an update on Caltrans’ plans for sound walls in Petaluma, says it will build the walls along northbound Highway 101 from Lakeville Highway to East Washington Street and from just north of East Washington to the Lynch Creek area. Along southbound 101, Caltrans plans a sound wall from Lynch Creek to East Washington.

Haus said work to remodel the East Washington Street interchange is expected to be finished before the sound walls are built, but there’s no firm start date for that work.

As for planting trees, there’s no mention of trees.


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