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Road projects complicate travel through Sonoma

Sonoma motorists are in the midst of a cross-town facelift for Highway 12, a Caltrans resurfacing project for the state route though the city. That project will follow Sonoma Highway through summer and fall, with the aim to be complete by October – or taken up again early in 2022.

But work isn’t limited to the Caltrans effort. At present, motorists are directed through a busy construction zone on Sonoma Highway between Lichtenberg and Boyes Boulevard. It’s part of the on-going PG&E natural gas main replacement that’s been going on for well over a year, much of it accomplished already but much of it still ahead.

Now that PG&E pipeline project has also just started on a common cross-town route, on West MacArthur Street, from Fifth Street West to Highway 12, Broadway. Work began on that section on June 28 and is not expected to be completed until October.

PG&E and its contractor, ARB, will be replacing a portion of a natural gas transmission pipeline, work that includes trenching underneath West MacArthur to replace approximately 2,730 feet of 6-inch steel transmission main pipe with an 8-inch steel pipe.

Construction will occur starting from 7 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Traffic delays are likely for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists during the project, as there may be detours, condensed lanes, or lane closures at certain points of the project.

Also on Sonoma Highway, work began on June 29 on the bridge over Agua Caliente Creek, near Donald Street. Caltrans has closed the pedestrian lane on the west side of the bridge to allow Caltrans to temporarily shift traffic to the west side of the bridge, meaning pedestrians will have to cross the bridge on its east side.

The closure of the pedestrian path over the bridge also means that drivers will be shifted to the west to allow crews room to work. The goal is to increase the height of the bridge’s pedestrian guardrail to comply with current safety standards. The process of upgrading the guardrail will take about two months, involving closing alternate pedestrian lanes to accommodate railing upgrades on both sides of the bridge, according to an announcement from the state Department of Transportation.

For the time being, southbound pedestrians are asked to cross to the east side of the highway at Siesta Way; northbound pedestrians should cross at Verano Avenue to avoid interfering with the road work.

In July, the project will reverse, shutting down the east side of the bridge for the guardrail upgrade, and pedestrians will be required to use the west side of the highway. Work on the guardrail is scheduled for completion by late August – by which time the actual resurfacing of Sonoma Highway should begin.

Now for some good news: while the Boyes Boulevard Bridge is still under construction, the end is drawing near. According to 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin, “We have a date for the reopening ceremonies of the bridge, on July 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.” Watch this space.

Email Christian at christian.kallen@sonomanews.com.

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