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A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

Santa Rosa gas prices fall a bit

There’s hope: Gas prices are slowly inching down in Santa Rosa and across the state, AAA reports. The average price for regular on Monday was $4.23 a gallon, down about a penny from the day before, down 5 cents from a week ago and down 10 cents from a month ago. But a year ago, gas was $4.154. Still, prices range widely in Santa Rosa, with $3.98 apparently the lowest. That’s at the 76 station at Old Redwood Highway and… Read More »

Mailbag: Why cable barriers on Hwy. 101 in Ukiah?

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: Do you know why they are putting all the work into making a barrier in the median strip of Highway 101 in Ukiah? There is much more traffic south of Cloverdale and with less space between north and southbound lanes there is no barrier. I can’t figure out a reason they need a barrier, and I’ve been trying for weeks now. Heard anything? Karen Here’s an answer from Caltrans District 1 spokesman… Read More »

Mailbag: Sidewalk? Bike lane? What is it?

Here’s a question from a reader about Highway 101: What the heck are they doing in the center divide along 101 through Ukiah/Redwood Valley? Us locals would really like to know. What is the concrete-sidewalk-type strip they are installing in the center divide all through Ukiah and north into Redwood Valley? Is this a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk? A bike lane (in the center divide)? What are our bottomless tax dollars being spent on here? Again, us locals would love to know.… Read More »

Mailbag: When will Talmage bridge be finished?

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: Can you find out the estimated completion date for the bridge retrofit on Talmage Road in Ukiah? Samantha The answer comes from Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie Jr.: The bridge is anticipated to be completed this fall, probably October or November. The $6.2 million project was fully funded by the Recovery Act. The bridge was designed to be built one lane at a time. The old bridge was split down the middle, the… Read More »

Our gas contest winner is …

Marc Adams of Ukiah drives 40,000 to 50,000 miles a year, mostly for his job as a real estate appraiser. So perhaps it’s appropriate that he won the Road Warrior’s Guess the Gas Price Contest, receiving a $50 gas card. Marc’s guess was $4.269 a gallon and turned out to be the closest of 176 entries to the average price for regular gas for the Santa Rosa metro area, as reported online on May 2 by AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge… Read More »

Hwy. 101 repairs getting under way

Once again the unstable clay soil of the Willits Grade north of Ukiah is bedeviling Highway 101 and Caltrans engineers, but this time they hope they can beat it. “Caltrans has been fighting it for many years,” with construction crews regularly fixing slipouts and other problems on the Willits Grade caused by the shifting ground under Highway 101, spokesman Phil Frisbie Jr. said. The latest trouble is a slipout in the right southbound that has left the road cracked and… Read More »

Emergency repairs on Highway 101

Caltrans starting Monday will restrict traffic to one lane in both directions on a stretch of Highway 101 between Ukiah and Willits because of emergency work to repair a slipout. For now, only southbound traffic is down to one lane on the 2.1-mile stretch of 101, which is on the Willits Grade south of Ridgewood Ranch Road. Caltrans says construction crews will dig down to stable soil and use expanded polystyrene blocks to serve as fill. “This type of light… Read More »

Sebastopol ranks high in fatal/injury collisions

Sebastopol again ranks near the top in the state for fatal/injury collisions among cities of comparable size, according to the latest figures from the state Office of Traffic Safety. For 2009, Sebastopol ranked second out of 70 cities of 2,500 to 10,000 people with 67 fatal/injury collisions. Sonora, near Yosemite, ranked No. 1. In 2008, Sebastopol ranked fourth with 54 such collisions. The high rankings come as no surprise to Sebastopol Police Lt. James Conner. He explained that with Highways… Read More »

Mailbag: What’s up with 101 in Ukiah?

Here’s an inquiry from a Road Warrior reader: Can you find out what the status is of the work on 101 in the Ukiah area? Please tell me they are coming back to do the southbound #2 lane from Highway 20 to Burke Hill? And while I’m at it, they had planned to be done with repairs and then grind down the new sections by December — not. Is there a new schedule? Projection? Just like to know. Thanks, Samantha… Read More »

Mailbag: Why is 101 so rough in Ukiah?

Question: The pavement repair project in Highway 101 in Ukiah is well under way, with several miles of new sections of concrete in the northbound slow lane. The patches are all various lengths from a few feet to a couple of hundred feet in length. When you drive over these patches, there is a noticable transition between the original concrete. The patches feel like they are a little higher than the original roadway. When there are several small patches in… Read More »