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Weather puts damper on Broadway striping in Sonoma

The restriping of Broadway is on hold due to the ongoing wet weather — and its completion date has yet to be scheduled, according to city officials.

“Striping will continue on Caltrans’ paving project, including the revised striping on Broadway, when weather allows,” Sonoma Public Works Director Colleen Ferguson told the Index-Tribune this week.

As recently as late November, staff and Caltrans had hoped to wrap up the work in early January, but the steady rains combined with chilly temperatures throughout the month have put a damper on those plans. The road lining includes a material called “thermoplastic striping,” which can’t be applied to pavement when outside temperatures dip below 50 degrees, according to Caltrans spokesperson Jeff Weiss.

Caltrans crews have been repaving sections of the highway from Vallejo Avenue in the Springs to Napa Street in downtown Sonoma since September, when the state highway agency embarked on its planned $7 million Highway 12 repaving project.

As part of the project, the City of Sonoma in November received approval from Caltrans to reconfigure the striping on a portion of Broadway from MacArthur to Napa streets in an effort to increase bike and pedestrian safety by adding cycling lanes and lowering the lengths of crosswalks – a plan that also requires a decrease in vehicle lanes along that stretch.

The new design, approved by the Sonoma City Council in August, will reduce the southbound direction of Broadway between Napa and MacArthur streets from two lanes to one, while adding bike lanes on both sides.

Northbound, for most of the MacArthur-to-Napa stretch, the road will go from two lanes and a left-hand turn lane down to one lane and a left-hand turn lane.

The bike lanes will be further protected from vehicles by “buffered” striping, which creates additional separation between vehicles and cyclists. And in the midblock portion of the road, from Maple to McDonell, vehicle parking lanes will be set between moving traffic and the bike lanes.

Overall, the changes in the lanes will allow crews to reduce the length of the crossing at MacArthur Street from 60 to 36 feet; and at Napa Street from 70 to 48 feet.

City staff has estimated the cost to the restriping at $41,700.

Caltrans spokesperson Vince Jacala stressed to the Index-Tribune that, while the state agency will handle the striping of the portions of Highway 12 where the lines remain the same, the reconfigured section of Broadway will be led by the City of Sonoma.

“Once the rains let up and the pavement is dry, the City of Sonoma will need to complete the striping per the City’s plan,” Jacala wrote in an email. He said Caltrans approved the City’s request for the new striping design by issuing an “encroachment permit,” which allows the City to lead the way on the project.

Jacala said it could simply come down to a matter of the City of Sonoma requesting Caltrans’ contractor to complete the striping according to its plan.

“So, of course, working with Caltrans, the City will get the job done,” he said.

Ferguson confirmed that the City plans to contract with Caltrans’ striping subcontractor, which will work in coordination with City works crews to complete the revised striping plan.

Email Jason Walsh at Jason.walsh@sonomanews.com.

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