Reconstruction of the Airport Boulevard interchange on Highway 101 north of Santa Rosa could begin this fall after the state Transportation Commission on Friday approved $24.1 million for the project.

Once finished, expected in fall 2014, the project will expand the Airport Boulevard interchange to a diamond shape, with much longer, wider and sweeping on- and offramps. The bigger interchange will abut the one just to the south at Fulton Road, and that one will be eliminated for safety reasons, Caltrans officials said.

The project also calls for replacing the overpass at Airport Boulevard and building sound walls nearby.

Caltrans spokesman Robert Haus said initial work will start this fall “if everything goes according to plan.”

He said Caltrans will begin seeking bids for the construction, estimated at about $30 million, in about a month. Part of the cost also is being covered by local transportation money.

The project was among 61 statewide that received a total of more than $900 million in funding from the Transportation Commission on Friday. About $800 million came from Proposition 1B, a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The rest was from assorted state and federal transportation accounts.


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