Calistoga/Santa Rosa traffic is snarled by roadwork on Calistoga and Porter Creek roads. (John Burgess / Press Democrat)

Crews began repaving Calistoga Road on Monday, causing lengthy delays for motorists traveling between Santa Rosa and Napa Valley. The situation was compounded by one-lane bridge work on Porter Creek Road, the only other feasible east-west route. But Sonoma County spokesmen say the misery will be short lived, with a freshly repaved road open in about 10 days.

Read answers about that project from Tom O’Kane, deputy director of the county’s Department of Transportation and Public Works below, and find out about other pavement projects scheduled this week as well as which intersection is getting extra attention from Santa Rosa Police.

Question: There is a notice sign for construction beginning July 8 for Calistoga Road uphill from Rincon Valley.  Do you have an info on this work? — Michael Lennon, Calistoga

Question: Yesterday Ghilloti placed electric boards on Calistoga Road at Porter Creek and at the top of the hill before the final descent into Rincon Valley notifying motorists that there will be delays from 7/8 through 8/16. Can you find out what work is being done and how long we can expect to be delayed, between what times? I’m sure all of us commuters would also appreciate you getting an explanation from the Dept. of Public Transportation and Public Works as to why they’re allowing concurrent projects on the only two options we have over the hill. — Sky

Answer: Ghilotti is paving this corridor, doing the base repair work this week and the actual paving the first few days of next week. Traffic will be reduced to one lane where the repairs are underway, with motorists in each direction taking turns in that lane. The paving is expected to take two days and happen during the late night or early morning hours when traffic is very light. The striping and pavement marking, which will take a few hours and cause minimal disruption, will happen about 10 days later, after the surface oils have evaporated.

Crews must work around the construction schedule for the Porter Creek Bridge replacement project, which also is causing some delays. They also are very restricted by their environmental permits for any nighttime work. Says O’Kane, “Depending on what the Porter Creek Bridge schedule is, they will probably do the preparation work during the day. I would suggest that anyone who uses Calistoga or Porter Creek pass through before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.”

Why now?

“These projects have to be done when we have the money,” says O’Kane, explaining that both projects are financed with federal money that sent to the state and then allocated by Caltrans.

“The Porter Creek Bridge replacement project was initiated in the early 1990s and took 21 years to receive construction funding from Caltrans. It certainly would be better to be able to plan projects based on the best timing, but if we do not get Calistoga done this paving season, we lose the money.

“It just happens that the bridge is under construction at the same time, but the paving could not wait until the next season. These are two corridors where we receive a substantial number of complaints about the condition of the pavement and the bridge. It is wonderful that we finally have money to begin our infrastructure repairs and rehabilitation, with more than 50 miles of new pavement planned this year, so there will be minor delays in every area of the county.”

Rob Silva, road department operations manager, gives the following update on these and other projects going on around the county

Calistoga Road – Plum Ranch Road to Porter Creek Road, contractor will be doing pavement and base repairs 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in preparation of overlay. One-lane traffic controls, expect up to 30 minute delays.

Porter Creek Bridge replacement project on Porter Creek Road, 1000 feet west of Franz Valley Road. Contractor will continue drilling piles for new bridge footing and old structure excavation, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Road closures of up to 30 minutes will cause traffic delays of 45–60 minutes.

Chip seal pavement preservations: Beginning Monday and continuing 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday for the next two weeks, county road crews will be applying a chip seal pavement preservation surface.  The entire lengths of the following routes will be chip sealed and initially swept in one day. A second sweeping will follow the next day. Considerable traffic delays can be expected, with one- lane traffic controls. Pilot vehicles will escort traffic through the work zone. The following day, each road will receive a second sweeping, causing further delays.

Monday, July 8: Olivet Road, from Guerneville Road to River Road, 2.25 miles.

Tuesday, July 9: High School Road from Sebastopol city limit to Occidental Road, 1.29 miles; second sweeping on Olivet Road.

Wednesday, July 10: Llano Road from Hwy. 116 to Todd Road, 2.27 miles; second sweeping on High School Road.

Thursday, July 11: Bloomfield Road from Hwy. 116 to Tiller Road (private), 1.31 miles; second sweeping on Llano Road.

Contractors also will be doing the following work:

Old Lakeville Road north to Hwy. 116 – Asphalt overlay contractor will be installing guard rail 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with one-lane traffic controls and delays of up to 30 minutes.

Arnold Dive at Agua Caliente Road Roundabout – Contractor will be performing shoulder work and trenching in the roadway from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily on Arnold Drive 1000 feet north and south of the intersection of Agua Caliente, and on Agua Caliente 500 feet east of Arnold Drive. Mostly shoulder closures may cause delays of up to 20 minutes.

Santa Rosa intersection of the week

Santa Rosa police will be monitoring one of the city’s most collision-prone intersections, Petaluma Hill Road at Kawana Springs Road, which  last year was tied for sixth place with 6 collisions.

As part of a weekly Monday through Friday special enforcement program, Officer Jeff Adams says officers particularly will be looking for drivers not wearing seat belts, who are illegally using cellphones, are speeding, running red lights or committing lane violations.

Each week, the officers pick one of the city’s top 25 collision-troubled intersections to monitor.

To read about the city’s other top intersections for collisions, CLICK HERE.


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