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‘Closure’ of Highway 37 not as bad as it sounds, says Caltrans

Motorists have been taken aback by a roadside sign reading that Highway 37 will be closed from Aug. 2 to Aug. 13. For commuters on the heavily used route between Marin County and Solano County, Highway 101 and Interstate 80, it raised alarms.

As it turns out, “closure” is too strong a word, and according to Vince Jacala of the California Department of Transportation, not a very accurate one. The work will be patch road repairs and sealing, and it will almost always take place during the night. “It’s just part of our infrastructure plan – Caltrans has to maintain the highway. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just needs work. Kind of a fix-it project.”

The affected area is limited to the highway from Walnut Street in Vallejo to the junction of 37 with State Route 121 near the Sonoma Raceway, which is indeed the heart of the Sonoma-to-Solano commute route. But for the most it will be limited to non-commute hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. on weekdays.

During those hours, westbound traffic may be interrupted. Traffic headed eastbound on the route may find their lane closed as well, on occasional nights, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. “Only one travel direction of State Route 37 will be closed at a time,” Caltrans said in an updated press release on July 14.

During the westbound closures, the SR-37 onramp from Walnut Avenue on Mare Island will be closed from 7 pm. to 5 a.m. This is a separate project from the recent repavement of a 1.7-mile stretch between Lakeville Highway and the Petaluma River Bridge, which began last week.

Jacala speculated that the signs were put up by “over-eager” crews, as they did not mention the limited hours or direction of travel. “It shouldn’t affect too many people, it’s not as bad as it sounds.” He said the signs would soon be corrected for accuracy.

Motorist traveling on the highway on those weekday evenings and early mornings are encouraged to use State Route 121 and State Route 29 as alternate routes during that time frame.

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