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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  1. H. Forcey

    I find it amazingly shortsighted of Cal Trans and our County Officials to close the Fulton Road off-ramp. This is the only remaining alternative to help divert the local Larkfield-Wikiup residents away from overly congested Airport interchange. If Cal Trans thought their $34 Million Airport interchange renovation was going to improve traffic congestion wouldn’t it alleviate the Highway 101 back-up issue, thus making the Fulton Road off-ramp a non-issue?

    Traffic at the Airport interchange is horrible now, and the Airport Business Park is not even close to being fully built-out. The problem is that there is really only one viable access, maybe adding a viable alternative access route would help. Also, the River Road/Markwest interchange is no better, and will be total gridlock when the new Kaiser Hospital opens. Finally, all the work at the Shiloh Road interchange is unlikely to have no measurable impact on traffic congestion, so as usual we are being screwed at the tune of $34 Million Dollars.

    So the cure is to take out an offramp that diverts local traffic away from these highly congested options, thus increasing congestion in already congested interchanges. Congratulations to our backwards thinking officials, maybe when this is done they can refocus their attention on reunifying the Downtown Square (destroying an alternative traffic route), or maybe impose parking restrictions at the Coddingtown Mall, or move forward to sell the Highway 12 corridor for housing development.

    We need viable alternatives to traffic, because managing urban sprawl with more traffic congestion and deplorable road conditions does not appear to be working.

    January 7th, 2013 6:33 pm

  2. bradpipal

    Thirty years hind site says, “Always do your overpasses and roads right if your plans were for tremendous density.” They have many serious highway and road improvement problems. Why did they fail to engineer?

    January 7th, 2013 7:26 pm

  3. randy

    I can fix the south bound 101 at airport blvd. instead of diving traffic into 101 with a short ramp use the shoulder to create a 4th lane that connects tot hte fulton offramp….. better than a 1/3 of the cars are diving off of airport onto fulton using fulton as a bypass around santa rosas downtown parking lot.

    cheap job do it with paint.

    Next as to the airport blvd north bound offramp unless you widen all of airport blvd to 4 lanes after the overpass and route the merging traffic into its own seperate lane the length of the blvd you will always have traffic due to a single lane and a poorly timed stop light. so you will have to widen the overpass

    eliminating the southbound fulton exit creates a poor flow for traffic and will clog up the fulton/ river road left hand stop light even more than it already is. and regarding the north bound fulton exit there is no issue with that old off ramp it merges nicely into fulton road…. the north bound on ramp is another story ditch that short death trap… but the offramps at fulton do noth but help keep from overloading the already overloaded alternatives….

    January 7th, 2013 9:30 pm

  4. It's About Time

    Sonoma County was designed to be a greenbelt county; never wanted it to become what it is, so they didn’t make over passes for growth. The greenbelt concepts were bought out by greed and money making housing projects pushed by SF folks that wanted the ‘country’ life and cheaper housing…

    January 7th, 2013 9:52 pm

  5. B

    Completely horrible plan to eliminate a traffic outlet of Fulton overpass. What stupid person has devised this plan. Now I lose one of my major points of access to the freeway. Traffic will be much worse around my home. This is the worst news I have heard in a while.

    This has to be stopped! It is just too stupid. Who takes out a highway crossing? But what can we do other than bend over and take this? Whoever designed this change, really stupid and bad plan you have here! Just stop it! K?

    January 8th, 2013 5:11 am

  6. rasputin

    who is the idiot who decided to close the fulton offramp. He is so stupid for closing that offramp as so may people use that as a shortcut to sebastopol or any housing development on fulton. You are adding hundreds if not thousands of cars to the 101 problem

    January 8th, 2013 7:42 am

  7. Brian Tuite

    Oh boy, more sound walls! The new traffic light on River Rd at S/B 101 already backs up traffic. Just wait until all the Sutter and Fulton Rd traffic is diverted to that interchange. As someone who drives all over Sonoma and Napa counties as part of my work I confess that I avoid 101 at all costs due to the ridiculous traffic created by short sighted design and ignorant drivers.

    What happened to my Sonoma County?

    January 8th, 2013 8:09 am

  8. Bill

    Another amazingly poor CalTrans idea. While a new interchange is needed at Airport Blvd. The closure of Fulton on/off is ridiculous. This will force people going south to use River Rd. which is already overloaded. The same can be said of North bound River Rd. Way to go CalTrans .

    January 8th, 2013 5:22 pm

  9. randog

    They are widening Laughlin Rd from River Rd to the Airport business park with a new bridge over Mark West creek. The original plan called for a round about at River and Laughlin with a 35 mph speed limit on River to Fulton. The Forestville and Guerneville commuters should be upset as well as any who drive through the town of Fulton. It is hard to believe that they are creating this problem with our money when we hardly have a decent existing road in our county. This plan has only been revealed to Airport neighbors and not all affected.

    January 8th, 2013 7:16 pm

  10. Tami D'Angelo

    I wonder what big money corporation is pushing for this? Hmmm let’s see… what big business is right near that overpass/off ramp?? As for me, that is my route to work. Airport is over crowded as it is. It’s really going to cause a grid lock without fulton’s access. Good job Caltrans…. I hear the big rush to chop all the redwood trees is to beat the nesting season. There will still be birds, now they will have to find alternates to nest. Oh wait, maybe that’s the plan…. eliminate the birds! Way to go !!

    March 6th, 2013 7:05 am

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