NOVATO (KRON) — A new construction project on Highway 101 in the North Bay promises to relieve a traffic bottleneck known as the Novato Narrows.
KRON 4’s Maureen Kelly reports the project covers 16-miles of Highway 101 starting at Highway 37 and continuing up to Corona Road in Petaluma.
Commuters are used to long delays where the highway reduces itself to two lanes in each direction through the area. For the first part of the project, Caltrans only has funding to add High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes in several stretches. Those HOV lanes are expected to be open by the summer of 2015 through Central Novato going two miles on the northbound side and a half of a mile on the other side of 101.
One of the first parts of the project will be to widen lanes on the Petaluma River bridge.
At the Redwood landfill crossing, Caltrans crews will be working over the next several years to add an interchange along with a frontage road and bicycle lane extending south to Olompali Park.
That new upgrade is important, official say, because once it’s done they will be able to reclassify 101 through that area as a freeway instead of an expressway. Authorities say once a road is a freeway, it makes it easier to raise federal and state money to finish the rest of the project.
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