Hey, rush hour warriors, how is the northbound commute on Highway 101 these days? Has the new carpool lane helped?
On Wednesday, one week after the northbound lane was opened up between Highway 37 and the San Marin Drive/Atherton Avenue exit, officials got together for a collective high-five at park-and-ride lot off Rowland Boulevard in Novato.
Caltrans, the Transportation Authority of Marin and the Sonoma County Transportation Authority had a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Marin Sonoma Narrows
Widening Projects on 101.
“Today marks a major step in providing uninterrupted carpool lanes between Marin and Sonoma Counties,” Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said in a release. “This first phase of the Marin-Sonoma Narrows widening brings us closer to our goal of reduced congestion, and increased safety along this highway.”
There is still much work to come. The HOV lane extensions were just the first of many that will widen 101 from Novato to Petaluma, known as “the Narrows.” The northbound section between San Marin/Atherton and the Redwood Landfill goes from four lanes to just two and creates a bottleneck every day.
Marin County Supervisor Judy Arnold, who represents most of Novato on the county board, praised the contributions of the California Transportation Commission, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Transportation Authority of Marin and Caltrans.
“The people of Marin and Novato have waited a long time for this project," said Arnold, also a vice chair of TAM. "I am looking forward to moving ahead with the next phases.”
The $50 million project built a new carpool lane in each direction on U.S.
The northbound HOV lane, which opened Aug. 8, runs three miles. The new southbound HOV lane is 1 1/2 miles between Novato Creek and Highway 37. Both carpool lanes connect to existing carpool lanes between Highway 37 to Highway 1 in the Tam Junction area.
Of the $50 million allocated for the project, $31 million came from
Proposition 1B, the 2006 voter-approved transportation bond. In total,
about $14 billion in Proposition 1B funds have been distributed statewide.