Petaluma City Council members agreed Monday to send a toned-down letter to regional transportation leaders asking for more information about hundreds of trees that have been cut down to make way for Highway 101 construction.
Supporters of a plan to create a greenway across southeast Santa Rosa are buoyed by a report suggesting the state is willing to part with the two-mile ribbon of land that had been designated for the extension of Highway 12.
Caltrans will be obliged to meet with state and federal wildlife agencies and local bird advocates next year before resuming highway work in Petaluma, assuming Gov. Jerry Brown signs the state budget package on his desk.
Bird watchers are blasting the Highway 101-Petaluma River Bridge construction project, saying contractors hung a net that is supposed to protect birds but is instead killing them.
The pace of work to widen Highway 101 through Sonoma County is picking up and shifting to Petaluma, where four major projects to rebuild overpasses and bridges will start within the next few months. It will also probably make Petaluma traffic a mess until work is completed in late 2014.
By 5:30 a.m, there are already enough cars filling southbound Highway 101 toward Petaluma to make Gus Kouninos grateful for the new third lane running over the Cotati Grade. But on his evening drive home, the Santa Rosa resident can only look at the new construction in frustration. The third lanes between Cotati and Petaluma are closed to solo drivers from 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m. during the commute crunch.
Healdsburg loves its vintage bridge over the Russian River and wants to save it, not replace it. But convincing Caltrans officials to approve the money to rehabilitate the span is proving to be a tough sell. Frustrated by Caltrans’ reluctance to sign off on the $12 million upgrade, the City Council has decided to enlist the help of state legislators and congressional representatives.
As many as 900 trees will be cut down to accommodate the Highway 101 widening project through Petaluma. The city’s tree committee wants the City Council to urge Caltrans to replace every tree or fund a tree bank to replenish the lost trees.
A proposed $20 million bicycle bridge over Highway 101 again appears in peril after Santa Rosa council members raised new questions about the cash-strapped city’s ability to afford the soaring cost of the controversial project. One of its supporters, Councilwoman Susan Gorin, says the opposition means the project will be effectively killed or delayed for a long time.
Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking to postpone a bond sale that would fund a dozen projects, including construction of a new Highway 101 overpass in Santa Rosa to alleviate frequent commute-hour backups at Airport Boulevard. Caltrans officials, however, said they do not believe the governor’s plan will delay construction on the interchange, now scheduled to start in spring of 2012.