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Yellow light: Madrone Rd., Hwy. 12 light still on hold

Sonoma Valley residents are still waiting on a new traffic signal for the dangerous three-way intersection where Madrone Road meets Highway 12 – a project Caltrans hoped to have done months ago.

Back in March of last year, a Caltrans project manager told the Index-Tribune the agency planned to have a light installed there by the end of 2013, and he said the next stage of work was up to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which needed to move some poles.

Those poles still haven’t been moved – although that work may finally begin this week. According to Caltrans spokesman Allyn Amsk, the electric company was held up “due to a change in ownership of one of the properties adjacent to the project.” That led to right-of-way issues that needed to be resolved before PG&E could begin.

This is only the most recent setback for a project that has been on the county’s plate since 2002. In February 2013, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors finally OK’d an agreement with Caltrans that included the county’s share of the cost – about $337,000 of $1.34 million.

Prior to that, Tom O’Kane, the county’s deputy director of Public Works and Transportation, wrote a memo to supervisors declaring that, “The project design has been completed, all the permits have been issued so it’s finally ready for construction.” That was in the fall of 2012.

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