There will be an informational open house about the proposed Highway 37 project from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 126 First St. W.
The event is hosted by the counties of Sonoma, Napa, Marin and Solano along with Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. It will inform residents and Highway 37 users about the status of the planning process and provide an opportunity for participants to share their concerns and provide feedback.
This is in response to impacts from sea-level rise, flooding and increased traffic along the corridor, the agencies are planning to improve access and safety along Highway 37.
This is another in a series of meetings about the Highway 37 woes.
There will be no presentation at the event, but staff will be available to answer questions.
At a meeting in Sonoma in April, officials were talking about an elevated roadway and the possibility of tolls.
After being shut down for 27 days in February because of flooding near Novato Creek, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Highway 37 will have to be elevated.
At the April meeting, the sticking point was how to pay to elevate the heavily traveled road that runs through three counties – Marin, Sonoma and Solano and touches Napa County. The cost to elevate the road, according to 2nd District Supervisor David Rabbit, is somewhere between $1.4 billion and $4.2 billion.
Calling it “an expensive endeavor,” Rabbit said Highway 37 is the second biggest problem in all four counties. “But the needs are greater than the resources,” he said.
Rabbit said Sonoma County’s biggest problem is Highway 101, Marin’s is the 101-580 bottleneck while Solano’s is the Cordelia Junction so Highway 37 isn’t at the top of anybody’s list. But it’s a strong second.
Suzanne Smith, director of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority, also said, “tolling is a real aspect we may have to consider.”
She pointed out that losing Highway 37 to sea level rise isn’t an option. And it’s going to be expensive.
“You don’t get a check for $1 billion,” she said. “You have to gather it in pieces from different sources.”