Caltrans announces Highway 37 construction

State highway officials are rushing to raise low-lying Highway 37 in northern Marin County on an emergency basis to prepare for another strong storm forecast to hit the region Thursday.The highway has been inundated with flooding water from a series of January...

Caltrans announces Highway 37 construction

State highway officials are rushing to raise low-lying Highway 37 in northern Marin County on an emergency basis to prepare for another strong storm forecast to hit the region Thursday.

The highway has been inundated with flooding water from a series of January and February storms, causing road closures and traffic headaches for commuters dependent on the major Sonoma and Marin county thoroughfare.

A three-mile stretch of Highway 37 between Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue has been closed since Feb. 9. California Highway Patrol officials Monday said they expected it to remain closed until at least Thursday while road crews work around the clock to raise it.

Caltrans has hired Santa Rosa-based Ghilotti Construction Company to do the work, according to the CHP. A company representative couldn’t be reached Monday. A Caltrans spokesman didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

One of the lowest lying state roads in California, Highway 37 traverses tidal marshlands, rivers and creeks along the San Pablo Bay. Researchers warn it’s threatened by climate change and rising sea levels.

Most Sonoma County drivers heading toward Highway 37 will take Lakeville Highway, which avoids the area under construction, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

The detour takes motorists onto Atherton Avenue through Novato neighborhoods with speed limits between 25 and 55 mph.

“We have traffic control for the morning and afternoon commutes,” Barclay said. “We’re doing our best to manage it and get people through.”

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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