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Author Topic: CA 37  (Read 2935 times)

Max Rockatansky

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CA 37
« on: January 03, 2020, 05:39:01 PM »

This past November I drove the entirety of CA 37 from I-80 west from Vallejo to US 101 in Novato.  CA 37 has a small freeway segment which was recently upgraded from I-80 west to Mare Island.  The segment of CA 37 west from Mare Island to Sears Point was known as "Blood Alley" before a crossover divider was installed.  From Sears Point CA 37 west to US 101 is a four lane expressway which completed in the 1950s.  CA 37 is one of the original Sign State Routes but it was originally aligned northeast of Sears Point to Monticello via what is now CA 121.  CA 37 between Vallejo and Sears Point was added to the State Highway System as first as CA 48 in 1939 when the Sears Point Toll Road was purchased by the State.  The Sears Point Toll Road had been previously opened in 1928 and wasn't paved until World War II when upgrades were needed due to heavy military traffic to Mare Island.  In the blog below numerous Division of Highways articles pertaining to the history of CA 37 can be found.

https://www.gribblenation.org/2020/01/california-state-route-37-blood-alley.html
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nexus73

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 05:49:35 PM »

Having driven 37 once to bypass paying bridge tolls (1970's), it seemed to me this highway is in need of a complete rebuilding to freeway standards. 

Rick
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US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willits CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 05:54:51 PM »

Having driven 37 once to bypass paying bridge tolls (1970's), it seemed to me this highway is in need of a complete rebuilding to freeway standards. 

Rick

West of Sears Point the biggest issue seems to be flooding near Novato.  From I-80 west to Mare Island the freeway grade is actually pretty solid.  The really tricky part of the segment from Mare Island west to Sears Point.  That segment would likely need to be elevated alone just to avoid flooding much less expansion.  Normally I would say that this would never happen but raising the highway onto a viaduct would probably appeal to environmental concerns over the present causeway system. 
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sparker

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 04:58:05 PM »

Having driven 37 once to bypass paying bridge tolls (1970's), it seemed to me this highway is in need of a complete rebuilding to freeway standards. 

Rick

West of Sears Point the biggest issue seems to be flooding near Novato.  From I-80 west to Mare Island the freeway grade is actually pretty solid.  The really tricky part of the segment from Mare Island west to Sears Point.  That segment would likely need to be elevated alone just to avoid flooding much less expansion.  Normally I would say that this would never happen but raising the highway onto a viaduct would probably appeal to environmental concerns over the present causeway system. 

Talk has been bandied about regarding simply abandoning/removing CA 37 from Sears Point to Mare Island and constructing a freeway/expressway facility along or paralleling CA 121 (and CA 12 as multiplexed) to CA 29 SW of Napa.  Of course, that would put Vallejo-based commuters at a definite disadvantage, since the entire Vallejo-Napa trip would be about 75% longer than directly via CA 37.  But elevating (and widening to at least 4 lanes in the process) the existing route is (a) raising the hackles of several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, who primarily want to see the adjacent wetlands restored to their original (pre-SSR 48) condition, and (b) posing an exceptionally costly solution to the problem; a project to deploy a continuous bridge -- or even one broken up by periodic berms -- would likely come with a price tag over $1 billion.  Needless to say, a configuration like that would inevitably be accompanied by tolls -- essentially the only way to pay for the project.  Since the present commute figures show a reasonably captive clientele, adding tolls would probably be accompanied by very vocal pissing & moaning from Marin or Solano commuters -- but may be feasible simply because an alternative through Napa and Schellville to the north would just involve too much commute time & distance, even with the current situation featuring daily backups on 37.  But any prospect of improvement along or adjacent to the current Sears-Vallejo 37 routing will still arouse an outcry from environmental advocates; any chances for such a project will depend upon who has Caltrans' (and the relevant local jurisdictions') ear when actual plans for such are presented. 
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 02:50:44 PM »

See that’s the thing raising 37 to a causeway/Viaduct structure would play right into what the Sierra Club and other advocacy groups want.  A limited access facility along 12/121 would be nice but I’d argue that corridor is it’s own separate problem.  Really the biggest obstacle “in theory”  would be the need to toll a new route of 37.  As much as I would hope the Sierra Club would be onboard with a raised Highway you’re likely unfortunately right that they probably will push for removal of any roadway, even the existing one. 
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skluth

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 09:12:37 AM »

I’m fine with an elevated causeway. You see them all over Southern Louisiana and the Mid-Atlantic region. I’m sure elsewhere too. They allow wildlife to live relatively isolated and still allow traffic to flow.

I’d be tempted to take advantage of the shallow water in the bay and move the highway to a causeway from Black Point to Mare Island. The road from Black Point to Sears Point would still be kept, but the bridge and remaining highway from Sears Point to Mare Island could be eliminated.

A good example where this was very effective is VA 164 in Portsmouth VA. It once went through the Port Norfolk subdivision. It now speedily bypasses everything, and both drivers and local residents are happy with the results.

I’m not sure, but relocating the road may also be cheaper than rebuilding it.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 09:54:05 AM »

I’m fine with an elevated causeway. You see them all over Southern Louisiana and the Mid-Atlantic region. I’m sure elsewhere too. They allow wildlife to live relatively isolated and still allow traffic to flow.

I’d be tempted to take advantage of the shallow water in the bay and move the highway to a causeway from Black Point to Mare Island. The road from Black Point to Sears Point would still be kept, but the bridge and remaining highway from Sears Point to Mare Island could be eliminated.

A good example where this was very effective is VA 164 in Portsmouth VA. It once went through the Port Norfolk subdivision. It now speedily bypasses everything, and both drivers and local residents are happy with the results.

I’m not sure, but relocating the road may also be cheaper than rebuilding it.

A good example I’m familiar with is US 41 on the Tamiami Trail being relocated partially onto a Viaduct near FL 997.  Said project apparently will return much of then natural flow of the Everglades southward towards Caps Sable.  I see no reason why a viaduct on 37 wouldn’t have a similar effect. 
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Plutonic Panda

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The Ghostbuster

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2023, 07:59:02 PM »

I’ve heard about this proposal, though I am skeptical whether it will be constructed. How likely is it that CA 37 will become a toll road, which I believe has also been discussed?
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heynow415

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2023, 11:45:20 AM »

I’ve heard about this proposal, though I am skeptical whether it will be constructed. How likely is it that CA 37 will become a toll road, which I believe has also been discussed?

This bridge will certainly be constructed in one form or another - it's been through design, is going through environmental clearance, and is funded.  Whether the rest of 37 gets raised/widened remains to be seen, but the toll road option is seen as the only real way to fund what will be a several $B project.  The Novato Creek bridge replacement is definitely needed now.  The creek channel is too narrow and the current bridge is too low with structural piles in the creek channel which catches debris washing downstream and creates a dam which causes the water to back up and then overtop adjacent levees.  This has resulted in the closure of the highway, a key east-west link in the North Bay, for up to three weeks in some heavy rain years.  There is a parallel railroad trestle immediately south of this bridge which is an even worse contributor to the flow problems in the creek and that is not going to be replaced as part of this project, but at least the highway will be up enough that if the surrounding area floods again, it should not be affected.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2023, 01:56:00 PM by heynow415 »
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Quillz

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2023, 08:38:36 AM »

On a completely unrelated note:

Back in 1963, CA-37 was from US-101 to Sears Point, at which point it turned northeast. Sears Point to Vallejo was CA-48. Then the following year, with the renumbering, CA-37 took over all of CA-48, and the majority of CA-37 became CA-121. It seems like the more logical move would have been to just truncate CA-37 to Sears Point, and have the entire west-east route CA-48. This would have kept both numbers mostly in place and only required a slight renumbering. Instead, CA-37 was completely realigned and then an entirely new number was assigned, leading to (presumably) a lot more confusion and resigning.

Any idea why CA-48 wasn't kept as a number?
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cahwyguy

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2023, 11:14:22 AM »

On a completely unrelated note:

Back in 1963, CA-37 was from US-101 to Sears Point, at which point it turned northeast. Sears Point to Vallejo was CA-48. Then the following year, with the renumbering, CA-37 took over all of CA-48, and the majority of CA-37 became CA-121. It seems like the more logical move would have been to just truncate CA-37 to Sears Point, and have the entire west-east route CA-48. This would have kept both numbers mostly in place and only required a slight renumbering. Instead, CA-37 was completely realigned and then an entirely new number was assigned, leading to (presumably) a lot more confusion and resigning.

Any idea why CA-48 wasn't kept as a number?

Possibly because they wanted to reuse the number as a freeway in Southern California, supplanting in some part Route 138? See https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE048.html
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Daniel - California Highway Guy ● Highway Site: http://www.cahighways.org/ ●  Blog: http://blog.cahighways.org/ ● Podcast (CA Route by Route): http://caroutebyroute.org/ ● Follow California Highways on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cahighways

The Ghostbuster

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2023, 11:50:51 AM »

It's not like California is ever going to bring back the US 48 designation, so a CA 48 could theoretically be designated somewhere within the state, although that doesn't seem likely.
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Quillz

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2023, 01:47:06 PM »

On a completely unrelated note:

Back in 1963, CA-37 was from US-101 to Sears Point, at which point it turned northeast. Sears Point to Vallejo was CA-48. Then the following year, with the renumbering, CA-37 took over all of CA-48, and the majority of CA-37 became CA-121. It seems like the more logical move would have been to just truncate CA-37 to Sears Point, and have the entire west-east route CA-48. This would have kept both numbers mostly in place and only required a slight renumbering. Instead, CA-37 was completely realigned and then an entirely new number was assigned, leading to (presumably) a lot more confusion and resigning.

Any idea why CA-48 wasn't kept as a number?

Possibly because they wanted to reuse the number as a freeway in Southern California, supplanting in some part Route 138? See https://www.cahighways.org/ROUTE048.html

I know about that, but I wonder why? You already had an established number, there were plenty of other numbers that could have been used for that still-unbuilt route in SoCal. It just seemed liked a weird choice that went against the entire idea of simplifying things.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: CA 37
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2023, 04:37:28 PM »

The primary problem is that CA 48 is still legislatively defined.  Having to make a change through the legislative process probably makes assigning the number 48 an immediate non starter.
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