With the opening of Highway 101’s extra lanes in Rohnert Park, some readers have written in wondering when metering lights will be turned on at onramps.

The answer is “it’s a few years away,” said Doanh Nguyen, Caltrans’ principal transportation engineer/division chief of project management for the North Bay.

The metering lights have been installed as Caltrans widened the highway through Sonoma County. None of the lights are in operation, and many, if not most, are turned to the side, away from drivers.

Nguyen said metering lights, which regulate traffic flow onto the highway, were installed because they part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s traffic plan for the entire Bay Area.

But before considering whether to turn them on, he said, Caltrans will have to complete yet-to-be-started highway projects in Petaluma, including widening the highway, replacing the Petaluma River bridge and redoing the Petaluma Boulevard North/Old Redwood Highway interchange because those projects will play a role in how traffic flow is regulated along Highway 101

He said Caltrans then will need to get approval of cities along the widened 101, the MTC and Sonoma County Transportation Authority because the metering can affect local street traffic.

Nguyen noted work on Interstate 80 in Solano County has been completed but Caltrans is still working on reaching agreements with local governments there for metering lights.

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