Jay Gamel, THE KENWOOD PRESS
Highway 37 is already deteriorating due to water levels that were eight inches higher in 2014-2015 than predicted by the U.C. Davis studies just a few years ago. The central segment is basically an elevated berm, or dirt mound, roughly 10 feet higher than the bay water level. In storm and high tide conditions, water can be at the nine-foot level.
Sonoma County Supervisors listened intently to plans to address State Highway 37 congestion and rising ocean levels that are likely to submerge portions of the North Bay’s major traffic conduit. Highway 37 connects Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties along San Pablo Bay. Napa is intrinsically affected by what happens to the highway as well.
The issues driving Highway 37 congestion work the same for Highway 12 through the Valley of the Moon – rising housing costs in Sonoma and Marin are driving more of their workforce to Solano and other East Bay counties in search of affordable housing.
The transportation departments of all four counties are working to find the best solutions to replacing or rebuilding the 21-mile corridor, which isn’t easy in the current fiscal landscape.
“There is no money for transportation projects,” Sonoma County Transportation Authority Director Suzanne Smith told the county supervisors on Aug. 9. “There are no Measure M bond funds, no North Bay tax measures, and very little likelihood of state action this year.”
In May of this year, United Bridge Partners, a private group, offered to rebuild the two-lane segment and finance it with tolls. California has very few privately funded roads, toll or otherwise, and special legislation would be necessary to make this work. That proposal will be considered, Smith said, along with every other type of possible funding.
Read more at: The Kenwood Press – Saving Highway 37 from flooding will be an expensive, long-term project