With road work going on around the North Coast, two Road Warrior readers would like to know when it will make their lives easier.

Hearn Avenue overpass

As I read the Press Democrat story on the widening of the “narrows” section on Highway 101, it would be good to find out why Santa Rosa cannot find money to do the same for the two overpasses over highway 101 south of Highway 12. Both take you back to Santa Rosa Avenue, and having two lanes going over the highway each way on both overpasses is long overdue. 

So while money is tight, good political lobbying brings home the “pork” to places like San Francisco on a regular basis. Better yet, it would help cut down on traffic, pollution from cars and gas demand. — Andrew Smith

Dave Vandeveer, a civil engineer with Santa Rosa’s Transportation & Public Works Dept. provides the answer: An upgrade to the Hearn Avenue overpass is in the works, but is years away. An estimated $9 million from the Measure M transportation tax income is allocated to that project. There are no plans to upgrade the Baker Avenue overpass, but the department is “currently pursuing improvements and widening of Santa Rosa Avenue south of the Baker overcrossing that should improve congestion in that area.” 

Vandeveer and Caltrans have taken the first step on the Hearn Avenue project, completing a Project Initiation Document that calls for such things as two traffic lanes each way, ADA compliant sidewalks and bike lanes in each direction, as well as improved on- and off-ramps.

The Environmental and Preliminary Engineering phase known as the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) should take two to three years, followed by final design and construction phases.

Why so long? Smith asks. “As Nike says, just do it!”

“There are numerous stages of work,” Vandeveer answers, “from conceptual planning, funding acquisition, preliminary design, environmental studies,  right-of-way work, final design, and construction.  Since the project involves a State highway, each stage needs to go through a Caltrans process.  That all takes years to accomplish.”

Repaving Highway 29

Tim Wallace asks an easier question, When will highway 29 be repaved from Hidden Valley to just south of Lower Lake?

“That section of Route 29 is scheduled to be repaved this summer,” says Phil Frisbie, Jr., Caltrans’ Lake County spokesperson.

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