Caltrans on Wednesday is scheduled to begin cutting down trees and bushes at the Highway 101 interchange at Airport Boulevard north of Santa Rosa as a step toward rebuilding that interchange.

The work isn’t expected to cause any lanes on Highway 101 or Airport to be closed.

The major job of actually redoing the interchange at a cost of $34.5 million is due to start this spring. Once completed 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 have said.

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

At 101 and Airport, Caltrans has been saving a small mountain of dirt, which came from widening of 101 from Santa Rosa to Windsor, for use in the interchange remake, such as for building up embankments. Caltrans officials have said they also may truck in dirt piled up at Highway 12 and Farmers Lane.


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