SMART rail work will force the closure of a couple of Petaluma streets in the next week.

From 6 a.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Payran Street will be closed at the tracks.

From 6 a.m. next Tuesday to 6 p.m. the following Thursday (Oct. 4), East Washington Street will be closed at the tracks.

The closures are part of the rail district’s upgrade of the tracks through Sonoma County. Crews are tearing out old crossings and putting in new track and smooth crossings. To do so, they need to shut all lanes at each crossing to allow the work to be done day and night.

SMART tentatively plans to begin replacing rail crossings in Santa Rosa in October and November, with the work Tuesdays through Thursdays at each. All Sonoma County crossings are expected to be finished by March 2013, if not sooner.

For East Washington Street, one of Petaluma’s busiest east-west roads, SMART officials said they’ve been working with downtown merchants, the NWP railroad that uses the tracks in Petaluma and city officials about the closure.

City officials said closing East Washington on weekdays or weekends didn’t matter, so SMART decided the weekday work better fit its needs, said Aaron Adams, construction project manager for SMART’s contractor Stacy Witbeck/Herzog. But he said he planned to review the traffic volume on East Washington and might shift the work to a weekend if that seems better.

SMART is paying the contractor $103 million for work that includes track and grade crossing upgrades from Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa to Civic Center Drive in San Rafael.


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