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Author Topic: SR 29 Widening - Kelseyville to Lower Lake  (Read 1264 times)

andy3175

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SR 29 Widening - Kelseyville to Lower Lake
« on: June 29, 2016, 12:30:33 AM »

The public meeting for this has already happened, but there are plans to widen SR 29 to four lanes, linking the existing freeway/expressway section south of Lakeport with the SR 53 expressway at Lower Lake.

http://www.record-bee.com/article/NQ/20160531/NEWS/160539991

Quote
CalTrans will lay out plans to widen a section of Highway 29 to four lanes at a public forum on June 8.

The proposal would extend eight miles, the Kit’s Corner intersection in Kelseyville all the way to Diener Drive in Lower Lake. There is, however, some concern the project would infringe upon wetlands areas. It will also require new right-of-ways, therefore the agency is seeking public input before the final design is selected.

An environmental impact report has been drafted and is available for review at the Lakeport branch of the Lake County Library until July 7.

“The project is being evaluated to determine the extent to which practical alternatives can avoid this encroachment and to ensure that all practical measures are taken to minimize harm to the wetlands,” CalTrans reported in a document regarding the project. “Our studies show it will not significantly affect the quality of the environment.”

Main project webpage:  http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist1/d1projects/lake29/

Goal for construction to begin: summer 2018
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sparker

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Re: SR 29 Widening - Kelseyville to Lower Lake
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016, 04:28:36 AM »

I for one are not terribly surprised at the push for widening this section of 29; it already carries traffic levels far outstripping its design criteria when opened in 1964 (I was on this section shortly after it opened while on a family vacation!).  And I also wouldn't be surprised if one of the side benefits to a widening would be for the facility to function as a firebreak -- considering it's only a few miles north of the starting point (Cobb, along CA 175) of last years' devastating "Valley" fire that pretty much wiped out Middletown a bit to the southeast.  One of the issues that was stressed in "aftermath" overviews of the fire was egress in & out of the local valleys and the inadequacy of the local road network (including 29 and 175) to handle evacuations or movement of emergency equipment. 
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andy3175

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Re: SR 29 Widening - Kelseyville to Lower Lake
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 01:12:50 AM »

I used to live in the Clear Lake area and believed back then (1990s) and believe now that the four-lane expressway (along 29 and 53) is necessary, if for no other reason than to keep trucks and through traffic off of SR 20, which runs very close to the north edge of the lake and could result in damage to the lake (along with people and property) if an accident results in vehicles landing in the lake along SR 20.

I have not been through the area since the fires devastated the area around Middletown, so I can only imagine the rebuilding effort necessary to restore the community. I don't think a four-lane highway leading to Middletown would be necessary or even feasible, since the barrier of Mt. St. Helena would make a four-lane crossing into Napa Valley extremely difficult if not impossible. I do have to wonder if the folks who built the SR 29 freeway bypass of Lakeport ever thought a full freeway or even expressway was at all feasible over Mt. St. Helena. I don't think it's feasible, but perhaps there is a way to do it of which I'm not aware.
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sparker

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Re: SR 29 Widening - Kelseyville to Lower Lake
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 05:54:57 AM »

I think that the freeway bypass of Lakeport was more to provide a section of improved CA 29 between Lower Lake and CA 20 to serve as a through commercial route to bypass the section of CA 20 that follows the north shore of Clear Lake.  That segment of 20 would be difficult and impractical to expand because of both physical limitations (it's on a narrow ledge wedged in between the lake and the mountain along much of that stretch).  Using 29 along the south shore and the previously enhanced 53 to return to 20 provides an alternative that's not significantly longer than CA 20 itself -- and is much more conducive to capacity enlargement -- hence the 4-laning project under discussion.  I don't think that Caltrans figures there's any feasible way to effectively increase capacity on 29 from Calistoga to at least Middletown because of the topology around Mt. St. Helens.  Presently, it's not a particularly bad road if one pays attention to their driving (OK, that's an issue with folks on wine-tasting sojourns).  I lived in Windsor (N. of Santa Rosa) back in 1990-91 and regularly used 29/53/20 to get to I-5 when heading north to Oregon (made the trip at least a half-dozen times per year); even when 53 was still 2 lanes, it was a reasonably effective way to avoid the long way through Napa & Vacaville.   
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