This is a floating closed javascript menu.

State Shield

State Route 37

Click here for a key to the symbols used. An explanation of acronyms may be found at the bottom of the page.

Routing Routing

  1. Rte 37 Seg 1From Route 251 near Nicasio to Route 101 near Novato.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    In 1963, this segment was defined to run from "Route 17 near Nicasio to Route 101 near Novato." In 1984, Chapter 409 changed "Route 17" to "Route 251". [On the map to the right, unconstructed Route 17 is what would later be Route 251]

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    This portion of the routing was not part of the original definition of Route 37 in 1934. It was LRN 252 (defined in 1959) in 1963, but the routing was shown as "proposed, routing not determined".

    Status Status

    Unconstructed This segment is unconstructed. The traversable local routing is Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and Novato Blvd. The existing road is in the vicinity of Stafford Lake, and is (a) inadequate and (b) unstable. There are no plans for improvement.

    The 2013 Traversable Routings report notes that the traversable routing is Point Reyes-Petaluma Road and Novato Blvd. The existing road is in the vicinity of Stafford Lake. The road is not to State standards.

    Naming Naming

    This was to have been part of the "Point Reyes Freeway". The Pt. Reyes Freeway was one of many new routes created in the State Freeway and Expressway System, which was approved by the Legislature in 1959. This route has all but been killed by environmental concerns and costs. It would have connected with Route 251.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] Entire portion.

  2. Rte 37 Seg 2From Route 101 near Novato to Route 80 near Lake Chabot via the vicinity of Sears Point and via the former Sears Point Toll Road.

    Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

    This segment is unchanged from its 1963 definition.

    Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

    Original Route 37 - US 101 to Ignacio

    What was to become Route 37 started as LRN 8, defined as part of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act as a highway routed between LRN 1 in Ignacio (US 101) east to Cordelia by way of Napa at LRN 7 (US 40, later I-80). LRN 8 is first shown on the 1918 Division of Highways State Map. Starting from US 101 (LRN 1), LRN 8 was signed as Route 37 until the present Route 37/Route 121 junction. It then continued N signed as Route 37 (post-1964 Route 121) to Shellville, continuing easterly towards Napa cosigned as Route 12/Route 37 (post 1964 Route 121). From Napa S, it was cosigned as Route 12/Route 29 (present-day Route 221), until Route 29 diverged. LRN 8 continued signed as Route 12 to Cordelia, where it joined with US 40 (LRN 7).

    In 1934, Route 37 was signed along the route from Jct. US 101 (approx 037 MRN R11.346) near Ignacio to Jct Route 28 near Monticello, via Napa. The portion of this route between US 101 (LRN 1) and 7 mi NE of Ignacio (i.e., the current junction with Route 121) was LRN 8 defined in 1909.

    Route 37 then continued along the current Route 121 routing to Route 128 (originally Route 28) as LRN 8 (to Route 29 in Napa) and LRN 6 (Napa to Route 128). This segment was the original definition of Route 37 (i.e., between US 101 near Ignacio to Route 28 near Monticello, via Napa).

    The July/August 1950 California and Public Works Guide discusses the improvements of Route 37/LRN 8 on the Black Point Cut-Off between US 101 east to Route 48 at Sears Point. The improvement project expanded part of Route 37/LRN 8 to a four lane expressway while at the same time eliminated some of the higher grades that were a problem on the original highway. The March/April 1958 California and Department of Public Works Guide discusses the construction of the Petaluma Creek Bridge on Route 37/LRN 8. The new Petaluma Creek Bridge would be completed in 1958.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog "California State Route 37; the Blood Alley of San Pablo Bay")

    Rte 12/37 Schelleville to Sonoma Freeway AdoptionIn 1961, there was controversy regarding a proposed freeway routing for Route 12 and Route 37 (today's Route 121) near Sonoma. The State Highway engineer recommended the Modified P Route. This route follows the existing highway from Sign Route 48 (now Route 37) to Sears Point, passes W of the Schellville Airport and runs to the junction of Sign Route 37 (now Route 121) and Route 12. That portion was not contested. What was contested was the next portion, which runs W of Sonoma from the site of A&B Market, the N route, and the Sangiacomo Orchards parallel to Watmaugh Rd to Arnold Dr., where it would veer N  at an interchange and run between Arnold Dr. and existing Route 12 to a point E of Glen Ellen where it comes back to parallel the existing Route 12. There was a large amount of opposition to this route. It is unknown whether the freeway routing was ever adopted, but as of 2023, the routing is still the original non-freeway routing through Sonoma.
    (Source: Press Democrat, 9/28/1961, via Joel Windmiller, 2/1/2023)

    Original Route 47 - Ignacio to US 40 (Sears Point Toll Road)

    In 1921, the legislature authorized the Department of Engineering to "to make an investigation and submit a preliminary report upon a proposed state road with the necessary bridges connecting the city of Vallejo with a point on the state highway near Sears Point in Sonoma County." This roadway wasn't built as a State Highway but rather as Sears Point Toll Road which opened to traffic in 1928 according to the Novato History website. The Sears Point Toll Road was operated by Golden Gate Ferries under the subsidiary Sears Point Toll Road Company. The Sears Point Toll Road can be observed on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Solano County and Sonoma County.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog "California State Route 37; the Blood Alley of San Pablo Bay")

    The California Highway Commission recommended the State purchase the Sears Point Toll Road in late 1932. The purchase of the Sears Point Toll Road required Naval approval due to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard being located on the highway. The Sears Point Toll Road was purchased by the State in late 1938. Ultimately the Sears Point Toll Road was incorporated into the State Highway System as LRN 208 in 1939. LRN 208 became the first iteration of what was Route 48 which was routed between Route 37 at Sears Point east to US 40 in Vallejo. Route 48/LRN 208 first appear on the 1940 Division of Highways Map. (note that this was a reuse of the number 48, previously used for the 1926-1935 US 48, which became part of US 50). A September/October 1944 California Highway and Public Works Guide discusses the difficulty in maintaining Route 48/LRN 208 during World War II due to the high traffic into the Mare Island Naval Yard. A new bridge over the Napa River is discussed but the project ultimately rejected in favor of resurfacing the existing structure. An expansion of Route 48/LRN 208 eastward with a grade separation towards US 40 is discussed. This expansion of Route 48/LRN 208 east of the Napa River to US 40 was the genesis point of the present freeway grade of Route 37 in Vallejo.
    (Source: Gribblenation Blog "California State Route 37; the Blood Alley of San Pablo Bay")

    The portion of this route from 7 mi NE of Ignacio (present-day Route 121 junction) and I-80 (former US-40; LRN 7) was resigned from Route 48 to become part of Route 37 in 1964. This was LRN 208, defined in 1939.

    Status Status

    State Route 37/121 Operational Improvement Project (OIP) (04-Sol-37, PM 0.0/R7.4; 04-Son-37, PM 2.9/6.2; 04-Son-121, PM 0.0/0.2)

    Rte 37/Rte 121 Intersection ImprovementsThe 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following NEW Mobility item of interest: 04-Sonoma-37 PM 3.8/4.0 PPNO 2023H Proj ID 0418000281 EA 1Q480. Route 37 near Novato, at the  intersection with Route 121. Improve traffic operations by modifying intersection. Programmed in FY23-24, with construction scheduled to start in September 2024. Total project cost is $11,241K, with $6,533K being capital (const and right of way) and $4,708K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In May 2023, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding  the following project for which a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) has been completed: Route 37 in Sonoma County (04-Son-37, PM 3.8/4.3). Improve traffic operations by modifying the Route 37 and Route 121 intersection, in Sonoma County. (PPNO 2911K) This project is located on Route 37 from postmile 3.8 to postmile 4.3, in Sonoma County. The Department proposes to improve traffic operations by modifying the Route 37 and Route 121 intersection. The project is currently programmed in the 2022 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for a total of $26,446,000, which includes Right of Way (Support and Capital) and Construction (Support and Capital). Construction is estimated to begin 2024-25. The scope, as described for the preferred alternative, is consistent with the project scope as programmed by the Commission in the 2022 SHOPP.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(9))

    In May 2023, the CTC approved the following SHOPP (2a) and SB1 (2b) allocation for preconstruction project phases for environmental, design and R/W support: $4,029,000. 04-Son-37 3.8/4.3. PPNO 04-2911K; ProjID 0422000181; EA 2Q20U. Route 37 Near Novato, from 0.1 mile west to 0.4 mile east of Route 121. Improve traffic operations by modifying intersection and extending the lane merge in eastbound direction. Concurrent consideration of funding under Resolution E-23-70; May 2023. PS&E $3,931,000; R/W Sup $98,000.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) #4)

    In June 2023, the CTC approved the following project for future consideration of funding (which seems to be the same, based on the map, as PPNO 04-2911K/EA 2Q20U): 04-Sol-37, PM 0.0/R7.4; 04-Son-37, PM 2.9/6.2; 04-Son-121, PM 0.0/0.2. State Route 37 Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project. Route 37 in Solano County and Route 37 and Route 121 in Sonoma County. Reconfigure the existing Route 37 highway lanes from west of the Route 121 intersection to the Walnut Avenue Overcrossing at Mare Island. The project would widen the Tolay Creek Bridge; have four lanes (two full-time lanes in each direction); have 8-foot shoulders (except at Sonoma Creek Bridge, which would have 4-foot shoulders); and would widen the Sonoma Creek Bridge. In each direction the existing lane would be converted to a full-time High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane and the added lane would be a toll lane, in Solano and Sonoma Counties. (EA 04-1Q761).  The project is currently proposed for $430,000,000 in total funding from various State and local programs, of which $80,100,000 is committed in the 2022 State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for Right of Way (Support and Capital) and Construction (Support and Capital). Construction is estimated to begin 2025-26. A copy of the FEIR has been provided to Commission staff. The project would result in both permanent and temporary impacts to listed species and sensitive marsh and wetland communities, for which Findings pursuant to CEQA were made. Avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures would reduce impacts to less than significant. These measures include, but are not limited to, Worker Environmental Awareness Training, Nesting Bird Protection, preconstruction surveys, wetland protection, species monitoring, construction noise protocols, species surveys, and wildlife relocations. Compensatory mitigation for listed species and wetland impacts would offset potential direct and/or indirect impacts as identified in the FEIR. As a result, a FEIR was prepared for the project.
    (Source: June 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(5))

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following NEW Mobility item of interest: 04-Sonoma-37 PM 3.9/4.1 PPNO 2025P Proj ID 0418000432 EA 2Q200. Route 37 near Novato, from Route 121 to 0.2 mile east of Route 121. Improve traffic operations by extending the lane merge in eastbound direction. Programmed in FY23-24, with construction scheduled to start in September 2024. Total project cost is $18,132K, with $12,487K being capital (const and right of way) and $5,645K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.).
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    According to Chris Sampang, as of June 2004, between Sears Point (approx 037 SON 3.987) and Mare Island (approx 037 SOL R7.475), all two-lane sections are now separated with a Jersey Barrier. East of Mare Island, the highway uses a temporary four-lane segment between Sonoma Boulevard (Route 29) and the east end of the Mare Island bridge.

    Sears Point (037 SON 3.936) to Route 29 (037 SOL 4.858) - Capacity Increase / Climate Change

    In February 2011, it was reported that a study was in progress exploring a capacity increase in the 2-lane segment between Sears Pt. Rd and Route 29. The road is built on a berm, and travels through multiple protected species habitats, migration passages, wetlands, tidal marshes, farmland being converted back to wetlands, rivers, creeks, and bay shore lands. The Study will look at different ways to both mitigate and avoid mitigation measures in this sensitive area before the project is initiated. Caltrans and UC Davis will, at the end of this and probably following studies, will respond to the ecology of the area in its design, hopefully both increasing road capacity, adding class I bike/ped access to connect the Class I SMART train trail (70+ miles from Larkspur to Cloverdale) and the N/S bike network being designed to connect the Vallejo Ferry terminal in the south with the town of Calistoga in the north (, and increase the tidal action, deal with sea-level rise and restore the saltmarshes damaged by the berm. This will not only help restore the largest remaining SF Bay wetland area, but also deal with multi-modal transport. This study is funded by 1 of only 4 TRB grants given out nationally for this purpose. The grant application was submitted by Caltrans in partnership with the UC Davis Road Ecology Center.

    In August 2015, it was reported that there are concerns about the impacts of climate change on Route 37. Although Route 37 sits mostly in Solano and Sonoma counties, Napa County is impacted by traffic jams on the route. Of particular concern is the fact that during heavy winter storms, Route 37, which sits on a low berm over marshland, can flood, diverting traffic to other routes, including Route 12/Route 121 in Napa County. With sea levels expected to rise, Route 37 faces an even more watery future. Napa County transportation officials want to make certain that predicted sea level rise and increasing congestion never make crippling Route 37 delays and closures the new normal. Napa County Supervisors Keith Caldwell and Mark Luce are among the local officials who have attended Route 37 Stewardship Study meetings, a regional effort to re-imagine Route 37. Among the ideas – turn part of Route 37 into the “Napa-Sonoma Causeway” and maybe even make it a toll road. Route 37 runs for 21 miles from I-80 in Vallejo to US 101 in Novato and passes through no Napa County city. But a short section passes through county boundaries. In addition, several miles run on berms that affect tidal water flow to south county wetlands. Researchers predict sea level rise will lead to more and more flooding closures on Route 37 over coming decades, until sections are swallowed up for good, possibly by mid-century. “The most defining issue for Highway 37 is its vulnerability to flooding during heavy storms,” states a recent Route 37 report released by Caltrans. “Flooding has repeatedly occurred in the past, requiring closure of the roadway. With rising sea levels, flooding events will likely grow more frequent.” A long-standing idea is to widen Route 37 between Mare Island and Sears Point to four lanes. Caltrans could dispense with berms that are at most a few feet high and build a levee wide enough for more lanes and high enough to hold back rising tides. But this area is marshland – some of it Napa County marshland—that is home to rare species such as the salt marsh harvest mouse. A plan to build a massive levee amid the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area and San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge could get bogged down beneath endless environmental studies. Another idea is to create the Napa-Sonoma Causeway. The berms would be replaced by an elevated Route 37 that passes above rising tides, much as the Yolo Causeway takes I-80 above floodwaters near Sacramento. Additionally, changing the route to a causeway would allow for structural integrity and it would allow the marsh to more naturally function. Removing the berms would open up tidal influence in the area. That in turn would open up habitat for fish, birds and wildlife in general. A Napa-Sonoma Causeway might not even go along the present Route 37 route. The Mare Island-to-Sears Point section could be built over San Pablo Bay and remove traffic from the endangered species habitat of the marshes. However, a Caltrans report said, while removing the existing Route 37 berm could restore natural hydrology, adjacent marshlands could still face challenges. Other factors such as privately maintained levees, sea level rise, buried toxins and more frequent droughts could come into play. Building a Route 37 causeway between Mare Island and Sears Point would cost an estimated $1.6 billion to $2 billion, depending on the type of causeway.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 8/29/2015)

    In September 2015, it was reported that Marin and other North Bay counties are looking to develop a plan and financing to improve the utilitarian and sometimes aggravating Route 37 between Novato and Vallejo. Increasing traffic and sea-level rise are among the challenges facing the state highway, which existed in its current footprint since the 1930s. While the Marin portion has two lanes in each direction, it narrows to one lane each way just past Sears Point. That makes for heavy traffic during commute hours and gets even worse when there are race car events at Sears Point. Additionally, because it sits so close to the bay and wetlands, the highway is also vulnerable to flooding during heavy storms, which cause repeated closures. Two separate studies show Route 37 is vulnerable to projected sea-level rise, making it more likely to experience increased flooding and frequent repairs. The highway is also affected by the continual settling of the roadway from unstable soil beneath and heavy truck traffic, which can cause undulations on its surface. The Route 37 interchange with US 101 in Marin is also an area for improvement. In September 2015, Marin County joined Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties to look at ways to provide fixes for the highway while seeking funding sources. The counties signed a memorandum of understanding to study Route 37 improvements. Widening two-lane sections to four lanes, improving the road and making it flood-proof won’t be cheap. Some estimates of an overhaul to the highway have topped the $1 billion mark. There has been some suggestion that Route 37 become a toll road to help pay for improvements.
    (Source: Marin Independent-Journal, 9/22/2015)

    In October 2015, it was reported that an alliance of business interests is seeking to establish one of the few toll roads in the Bay Area to widen and raise Route 37 between Novato and Vallejo. The toll road plan is being pitched by United Bridge Partners, a private investment firm with headquarters in Foster City. The proposal would require a raft of county and state agencies to sign off on the deal, as well as action by the Legislature to authorize converting the highway to a toll road. But some officials see that option as the only viable way to make improvements on Route 37, given a lack of other transportation funds. United Bridge Partners proposes to use a portion of the toll revenue for environmental work. A 2012 stewardship survey conducted by Caltrans and UC Davis concluded that rising sea levels pose a threat to Route 37.
    (Source: Press Democrat, 10/16/2015)

    In January 2016, an explanation for the mysterious mounds on Route 37 was published. Along this segment of Route 37 is a strip of tidal wetlands that is located to the south, with the 50,000-acre Napa-Sonoma Marsh complex is to the north. The Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies and organizations are working to convert former salt ponds to wetlands. That will provide habitat for shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, and provide nursery areas for juvenile fish from the bay. The problem is that, over the years, the salt ponds sank below sea level. To address this, a consortium of organizations has constructed about 500 “marsh mounds.” When the new marshes are flooded, the mounds block the wind, build up sediment as tides push against them, and create microhabitats where native plants can get established.
    (Source: SF Gate, 1/3/2016)

    In February 2016, the results of the State Route 37 Integrated Traffic, Infrastructure and Sea Level Rise Analysis Report were made available. The report notes that three alternatives were looked at, one on a levee and two bridge options (box girder, slab bridge). All three alternatives call for two traffic lanes each way, 10 foot outside shoulders, and 17 foot inside shoulders. The 17 foot shoulders will allow for a 12 foot lane and a 5 foot inside shoulder in the future. Costs range from $770 Million for the levee, $3.1 Billion for the box girder, and $2.7 Billion for the slab bridge.
    (Source: Andy3175 @ AAroads, January and February 2016; Study Report)

    In May 2016, it was reported that a proposal has been floated to alleviate tieups on Route 37 by adding an elevated toll road. Specifically, United Bridge Partners wants to expand the oft-congested section of Route 37 between Sears Point and Mare Island, restore wetlands and do it decades sooner by charging tolls. Tolls and traffic snarls have been a part of Route 37’s 88-year history. The Novato–Vallejo connector route originally opened as a toll road in 1928. It was a graded and graveled road (160 feet wide) following the wagon routes that wandered among the man-made “islands” to Vallejo and the highways beyond. It had been a long time coming. The money to accomplish this came from a company called Golden Gate Ferries, an early transport system with no connection to the future famous bridge and its ferry system. It took three years to build the 10 miles. There were three drawbridges — at Tolay Creek, Sonoma Creek and the Napa River at Mare Island. The toll was 35 cents, paid willingly by “autoists,” as the drivers were known. The ceremonial opening of the toll road in July 1928 was a grand occasion, attended by dignitaries from the four counties that shared sections of the road. Exchange Bank president and Chamber of Commerce leader Frank Doyle led the Sonoma County delegation and kept careful notes. The toll road lasted just 10 years. Northern California, like the rest of the nation, had motorized. As traffic increased, so did the state’s participation. By the mid-1930s, it was clear that the State Division of Highways would eventually add the toll road to its free, tax-financed highway system; the state purchased it in 1938. Before a concrete divider was installed more than decade ago, the roadway got the nickname Bloody Alley because of a number of accidents. Though the section west of the Route 121 intersection near Sonoma Raceway was widened and upgraded to a four-lane highway, the eastward portion to Mare Island in Vallejo remains two lanes and subject to traffic tieups during commute hours and on big race days. Caltrans doesn’t have a Route 37 expansion project funded in its 2050 plan, so paying for the project by tolls would solve traffic congestion much sooner. The plan calls for buying the section of roadway from the state, building a two-lane span of roadway from Sears Point and the Mare Island bridge, fixing the intersections at both ends. The raised roadway with a bike lane would be for eastbound traffic, and the existing roadway would be converted to westbound lanes without a divider. As sea-level rise becomes a problem, the existing roadway eventually would be replaced with a causeway to match the eastbound lanes. The project would be funded by private investors with no state or federal money. Tolls would be logged electronically by the FasTrak system used on Bay Area bridges and express lanes, and tolls would be comparable to those rates. Options for vanpools and discounted toll transponders could be available for lower-income commuters.
    (Source: North Bay Business Journal, 5/28/2016; SonomaNews, 6/24/2016)

    In July 2016, it was reported that the State Route 37 Policy Committee voted to forward the unsolicited proposal from United Bridge Partners to the state Department of Transportation for review and comment. The committee is formed by transportation agencies from Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Marin counties. While only a short section of Route 37 skirts Napa County, transportation officials in Napa see the highway as being important to the local roads network. They say a flooded or traffic-choked Route 37 sends more traffic detouring to major Napa County roads. The State Route Policy Committee has a list of 63 questions, and that number is growing. Among them—what are the toll revenue assumptions and what would the company do if environmental reviews prove more complex than envisioned. Committee members expressed concern that the United Bridge Partners proposal only covers a segment of Route 37, not the entire route. Plans also call for elevating a section farther to the west. Still, they are interested.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 7/9/2016)

    In February 2017, it was reported that flooding in January 2017 created doubts on projections for when climate change will cause severe, perhaps catastrophic impacts on the major North Bay thoroughfare. Route 37, one of the lowest-lying in California, has long been threatened by climate change and rising sea levels, inadequate levees and political waffling over who bears responsibility for maintaining and upgrading the road. The 21-mile highway meanders across four counties — Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Marin — traversing tidal marshlands, rivers and creeks, and farmland where flooding presents a threat to livelihoods. The January storms showed that climate change was starting to overwhelm the system in places where the previous belief was that there were 20 years of lead time. January floods forced Caltrans to shut the highway between US 101 and Atherton Avenue in Marin County for the better part of seven days, and to restrict traffic to a single direction an additional five days, according to California Highway Patrol data. The flooding on the highway was a result of the storms that caused Novato Creek to swell while king tides blocked the water from flowing into San Pablo Bay. That forced water onto the highway and closed a 4-mile stretch, backing up traffic in the region. Previous research warned that Route 37 could be regularly inundated by 2050 and fully underwater by 2100. Sea level has already risen by 8 inches along the California coast and by 2100 may be 36 to 66 inches above present levels. Short-term, Caltrans is exploring an $8-million emergency upgrade to the highway near Novato Creek to try and minimize flooding, with hopeful completion in 2017. “There is a possibility to bring the pavement up just enough to address the type of flooding we saw in January,” said Dan McElhinney, Caltrans’ chief deputy district director for the Bay Area, noting that the work would occur along a 1,200-foot stretch near Novato Creek. Drainage pipes — which measure 18 and 24 inches — also could be replaced and made bigger to handle more water. Additional pumping and a barrier also would help, he said. Agency land surveyors are at work along Route 37 and have reported that the westbound lanes sit lower than the eastbound lanes because of settling over the years. In some areas, the roadway has dropped as much as 2 feet. Long term, the entire highway is at risk for submerging under a predicted sea level rise of 6 feet by the end of the century. That has prompted a hard look at creating an elevated causeway for Route 37 along the Sonoma and Solano segments. That work also would widen the road from two to four lanes. While the Marin portion has two lanes in each direction, it narrows to one lane each way just past Sears Point. Preliminary cost estimates for the work range from $1.2 billion to $4.3 billion. To put that in perspective, $1.2 billion has been spent on widening US 101 since 2001, and the work is not yet done. Toll roads are another option. United Bridge Partners, a private investment firm with headquarters in Foster City, has proposed building a four-lane causeway between Sears Point and Vallejo, where there are now just two lanes, and to pay for the expansion using tolls. But more than a year after the proposal was made public, the effort appears stalled.
    (Source: Press Democrat, 2/2/2017; MarinI-J, 2/2/2017)

    In April 2017, it was reported that a group of agencies exploring solutions to flooding and traffic on Route 37 has funded a study anticipated to identify actual projects that can be built along the 21-mile roadway. But with construction funds lacking, officials are unsure when any of the future work might take place. The Sonoma County Transportation Authority on Monday chipped in $30,000, the final piece of funding for the Route 37 feasibility study. Other transportation agencies in Marin, Napa and Solano counties paid similar amounts while the Metropolitan Transportation Commission funded the bulk of the $1 million study by contractors Kimley Horn and AECOM. The feasibility study is expected to be completed by around the end of 2017, and will look at the impacts of sea level rise and traffic alleviation, including drainage and shoreline improvements, levee improvements and raising the roadway, said James Cameron, director of projects and planning at the SCTA.
    (Source: Petaluma Argus-Courier, 3/30/2017, via North Bay Business Journal)

    In July 2017, it was reported that local transportation leaders heard from the experts that elevating Route 37 above rising sea levels is financially possible—if travelers pay a toll. The 21-mile-long highway runs from Vallejo to Novato through the Napa-Sonoma marshes. Estimated costs to elevate the road on a levee or causeway range from $1 billion to $3.4 billion in 2022 dollars, with costs rising in subsequent years. A $6 toll could pay for a $1 billion project. A $7 toll could pay for a $2.6 billion project. Another option is to do no tolling and pay for an elevated Highway 37 through traditional, public highway funding sources, but that could delay the fix until 2088. A U.C. Davis study predicts much of the road will be underwater by then. Local officials expect that, should a toll become a reality, some people will take a detour to avoid it. That detour would bring more traffic to already congested Route 29 and Route 121 in southern Napa County.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 7/21/2017)

    In December 2017, it was reported that the Transportation Authority of Marin was awarded gas tax dollars to “develop an action plan to address ongoing and projected flooding issues from increased storm flows and sea level rise in the east-west transportation corridor through the Novato Baylands,” according to the California Transportation Commission, which awarded the grant Thursday. Concurrently, the transportation agency is looking at how to raise the roadway to eliminate flooding. About 40,000 vehicles a day use Route 37, records show. Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) made more than $5 million in emergency repairs and upgrades at the approaches to the Novato Creek Bridge, where a private levee breach occurred during king tides and steady rains, combining to flood the highway. But Caltrans has indicated that Route 37 could suffer further flooding and potential closures in the area. A consultant is studying the financing of Route 37 improvements for Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties for the 21-mile highway. A Route 37 toll of up to $7 would be necessary to expedite major flood-prevention projects on the road, a consultant has told transportation officials. The Marin transportation agency actually asked for $411,000 for the planning work for the Novato area, but will find other dollars to complete the work, Steinhauser said. The Marin money was among the first planning grants funded through the gas tax — also known as Senate Bill 1 — to support local agency efforts to plan more sustainable communities, reduce transportation-related greenhouse gases and adapt for the effects of climate change, according to Caltrans.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 12/11/2017)

    In July 2018, it was reported that a new vision for rebuilding flood-prone, traffic-choked Route 37 calls for also turning the surrounding wetlands of the Napa-Sonoma marshes into a Bay Area outdoor nature attraction as famous as Muir Woods. The group Common Ground says this 46-square-mile area has no real identity, despite having state and federal preserves. The team of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, economists, ecologists and others wants the public talking about “The Grand Bayway.” Concept paintings show people walking and biking on boardwalks amid wetlands and sloughs as pelicans and other birds fly nearby. An existing, low-key trailhead at the end of Buchli Station Road in Napa County’s Carneros area is depicted as a bustling place with an excursion train dropping off hikers. Route 37 would be The Grand Bayway front door, but not the Route 37 of today. The new road might be on a 20-foot-high causeway that snakes gracefully through the wetlands, something that Leader said could be a signature feature like the Golden Gate Bridge or Bay Bridge. One of the grander ideas is to have an elevated walkway crossing above the elevated Route 37, perhaps some 30 feet in the air, allowing for a hike or bike ride with sweeping Bay Area views. Common Ground and its The Grand Bayway proposal was one of nine projects recently unveiled by the Resilient By Design Bay Area Challenge funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 7/21/2018)

    Resilient Rte 37In July 2018, it was also reported that another idea to save Route 37 along San Pablo Bay from predicted sea level rise is moving a section north to drier land along a new route through American Canyon and rural southwest Napa County. The Napa County option would mean combining the 40,000 autos using Route 37 daily with the 45,000 autos using Route 29 daily through the city of American Canyon. American Canyon is already a notorious traffic chokepoint in Napa County. However, that option looks to be a long shot. Transportation officials usually talk about keeping the Route 37 section from Vallejo to Sears Point along the same route and elevating it on an embankment or causeway. At a July 20 meeting, the State Route 37 Policy Committee of Caltrans and regional officials touched on the northern inland route option through southern Napa and Sonoma counties. Route 37 from Vallejo would head north along Route 29 through American Canyon. It would cut west following the lightly traveled Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit train tracks through the Carneros region. It would take Route 121 south to Sears Point and rejoin the existing Route 37 alignment west to US 101. The idea received a cold reception from the Route 37 committee. But there are benefits to a Napa County alignment. The present-day Route 37 passes through marshes skirting San Pablo Bay. This is an area with state and federal wildlife preserves and rare species ranging from the salt marsh harvest mouse to the California clapper rail. Moving the highway to Napa County would remove it from an ecologically sensitive habitat, said a report by Common Ground, a group that has designed a vision for the area called the Grand Bayway. That really unleashes all the tidal dynamics that would be key to the marsh complex. A Napa County alignment could be a less expensive option than building a causeway along the current Route 37 route. Sixty-three percent less of the highway would go through refuges, the Common Ground report said. Still, Common Ground called itself “alignment agnostic.” The many paintings of Grand Bayway possibilities in the report show Route 37 on a causeway along the present alignment, not in Napa County. Another alternative alignment for Route 37 involves shifting it to the south. The highway would cross San Pablo Bay on a bridge, removing the highway from the marshes. Options for the existing alignment have expanded beyond either an embankment or causeway to include a combination of both. Sections of embankments would make it easier to provide ways for people to reach public access areas in the wildlife preserves. The goal is to complete an analysis of the alternatives by the end of the year. The environmental study phase of the Route 37 project should begin early next year.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 7/28/2018)

    In February 2019, it was reported that the Sonoma County Transportation Authority signed onto the partnership that includes the transportation agencies of the four counties plus Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority, who are planning vast changes to the Route 37 in response to the risk from climate change. The first fixes will be completed within the next seven years, officials say, and the new formal partnership defines the roles various agencies will play and sets the process in motion. During the preliminary work, the study group broke the route into three distinct segments: the four-lane flood-prone stretch from US 101 to Sears Point; the narrow two-lane stretch from Sears Point to Mare Island that is plagued with congestion and also susceptible to sea level rise; and the four lanes from Mare Island to I-80, with bottlenecks and outdated interchanges. The middle segment, from Sears Point to Mare Island, was identified as the top priority. Fixes are already in the works to temporarily relieve traffic, although officials say the final solution, which could drastically alter the route’s alignment, is still decades away and could cost several billion dollars. In the meantime, officials are using $100 million in expected new Bay Area bridge toll money to design the first projects. According to planning documents, the first construction project will be a new roundabout to replace the current traffic signal at Route 37 and Route 121 near Sonoma Raceway. The $30 million project should take seven years to complete, according to the documents. At the same time, another project could expand the capacity of the current two-lane segment from Sears Point to Mare Island by adding a flexible third lane during peak commute times. Using the existing right of way, the extra lane could be added with either a movable median barrier, like the one on the Golden Gate Bridge, or a shoulder running lane, like the expandable third lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Those improvements are expected to cost as much as $150 million and be completed by the end of 2025, the planning documents estimate. The ultimate solution, which accounts for sea level rise, includes some radical concepts and is not planned to start until at least 2040. Plans range from raising the existing roadway onto a combination of embankments and causeways to drastically shifting the route inland so that it parallels an existing rail line. The most revolutionary design would build a straight bridge over San Pablo Day directly from Novato to Vallejo, bypassing the shoreline entirely.
    (Source: Argus Courier, 2/11/2019)

    In March 2019, it was reported that Steve Heminger, the departing executive director of the Bay Area Toll Authority, requested its oversight committee refer a memorandum of understanding to Caltrans and four North Bay county transportation agencies recommending a shift of oversight on future improvements for this often-congested and flood-prone corridor from San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission to BATA. This shift, which on paper appears to be a bureaucratic shuffle, could prove important, officials said, because it shifts oversight from a planning agency to BATA, a collector of tolls from Bay Area bridges, with exception of the Golden Gate Bridge. Given Route 37 falls under California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) authority, and involves several county transportation committees, having a point agency focused on financing and revenue sourcing responsible for delivering road upgrades could prove vital to getting years of construction projects off drawing boards. What could then be on the horizon are more funding resources for a series of phased improvements to the roadway from Novato to Vallejo included in the Resilient SR 37 program. One of these improvements – raising the road – could get a boost. BATA has toll income to leverage for financing, and it already collects tolls so authorities could get the state to design the project to include a bridge, or elevated causeway, and then collect tolls under BATA authority. Sonoma County District 2 Supervisor David Rabbitt said RM 3, a bold, Bay Area region wide traffic relief plan approved by 55 percent of the voters in June 2018, has $300 million allocated to four counties that they can apply to help fund local priorities. Some $100 million is currently allocated from RM3 for Route 37, including $3 million to TAM for a levee evaluation study, $15 million to SAT for an interchange, $24 million to SCTA for the Route 37/Route 121 interchange and $58 million to TAM and SCTA for Route 37 Segments A & B planning. Within three to five years, a highway roundabout could be built where Route 37 meets Route 121 that would ease congestion by allowing continuous access from all directions with no stops. Another intermediate step would extend two lanes eastbound. Other options include three lanes using a mobile moveable barrier to switch traffic morning and evenings, or four lanes as part of a raised causeway. On the eastern end of the highway, a Mare Island interchange is proposed with a Westbound lane drop extension and ramp metering system.
    (Source: North Bay Business Journal, 3/4/2019)

    In March 2019, it was reported that agencies trying to fix flooding problems on Route 37 hope to get legislation that would turn the stretch from Sears Point to Mare Island into a state-owned toll bridge. The project has been dubbed the “Resilient SR 37 Program.”The legislation could result in the “bridge” being created without the need to go to the voters for approval on the toll, according to a Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman. Near-term improvements can be completed over the next three to five years with approved bridge toll funds, the regional agency reports. These include installing a multiple-lane roundabout to eliminate the traffic signals at the intersection of Route 37 and Route 121; extending the two-lane eastbound configuration farther beyond Sears Point; and upgrading the westbound access from Mare Island in Vallejo. The Transportation Authority of Marin is teaming with public and private property owners to shore up vulnerable dikes and levees in Novato, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission reports. Options for intermediate-term improvements over the next five to seven years center on the section between Sears Point and Mare Island and could include either a three-lane configuration with a moveable median barrier – similar to the one used on the Golden Gate Bridge – or making this segment a four-lane highway. That option would mean the loss of shoulders along much of that stretch.The project would also allow for restoration and enhancement of sensitive wetlands and natural habitats.
    (Source: Solano Daily Republic, 3/20/2019)

    In June 2019, it was reported that the California Transportation Commission approved the $10 million study this week in a unanimous vote during its meeting in Sacramento. North Bay representatives and transportation officials had urged Caltrans to begin the studies after the four-mile section between Novato and Black Point Bridge was closed twice due to flooding this winter and in years past. Officials lauded the commission’s decision this week, but acknowledged it only addresses a small section of the flood-plagued corridor that stretches between Novato and Vallejo. Caltrans will focus its study on the nearly four-mile section of highway between Novato and the Black Point Bridge. This section has flooded twice since 2017 including this winter, causing the highway to close for days or weeks at a time and creating headaches for commuters. Potential fixes that Caltrans will study include raising the highway on an embankment of about 17 or 18 feet or raising the highway on a causeway-type structure, according to Transportation Authority of Marin Executive Director Dianne Steinhauser. The environmental and engineering studies are expected to take 24 to 36 months to complete. Improvements will cost between $580 million to $850 million depending on the option, according to McGuire. Another $100 million in bridge toll revenues from Regional Measure 3 are slated to be used to begin work on these improvements. The funding is being held in escrow until ongoing legal challenges against Regional Measure 3 are resolved. Still, the funding would only cover a sliver of the estimated $3 billion needed to improve the entire highway, according to the Transportation Authority of Marin. One idea to pay for these fixes is to impose a new toll on Route 37 commuters.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 6/27/2019)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following SHOPP amendment, related to the above news items: 04-Mrn-37 R11.2/13.7 PPNO 5200 ProjID 0419000376. Route 37 In Novato, from Route 101 to 0.1 mile west of Atherton Avenue. Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. PA&ED $10,000K; PS&E* $15,000K; R/W Sup* $2,000K; Con Sup* $16,900K; R/W Cap* $19,700K; Const Cap* $820,500K; Total $884,100K (* = Not Programmed). BC: 5/1/2027
    (Source: June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1) Long Lead Item 2)

    In June 2019, the CTC approved the following SHOPP support phase allocation related to the amendment above: $10,000,000 04-Marin-37 R11.2/13.7 PPNO 9819 ProjID 0419000376 Route 37 In Novato, from Route 101 to 0.1 mile west of Atherton Avenue. Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. (Long Lead Project) PA&ED $10,000,000 (Concurrent consideration of funding under Resolution E-19-69; June 2019.) (As part of this allocation request, the Department is requesting to extend the completion of the R/W Sup phase an additional 39 months beyond the 36 month deadline.) (Concurrent amendment under SHOPP Amendment 18H-010.) (Concurrent SB 1 Baseline Agreement approval under Resolution SHOPP-P-1819-13B.) (Concurrent R/W Cap allocation under Resolution FP-18-82.)
    (Source June 2019 CTC Minutes, Agenda Item 2.5b.(2a) Item 18)

    In September 2019, it was reported that Caltrans has received $10 million from the California Transportation Commission to do the necessary environmental and engineering studies for a longer-term fix to a segment of Route 37 between US 101 and Black Point. Caltrans is looking at the possibility of raising the roadway 15 feet or installing a viaduct or causeway. They are also looking at extending that and taking it all the way from Black Point to Sonoma Raceway. Caltrans will seek additional funding from the California Transportation Commission in early 2020 to do the environmental studies for that second phase of the project. It would take until 2023 to complete the environmental studies and estimated the earliest construction could begin would be 2025. The MTC Executive Ddirector for Operations indicated that MTC's plans for reducing congestion on Route 37 between Sonoma Raceway and Mare Island include adding a third lane that would alternate as a second lane traveling in the direction of rush hour traffic, similar to the lane conversion scheme on the Golden Gate Bridge. MTC is also looking at options for raising the roadway with fill and installing causeways on sections of this segment as well. MTC believes that tolls similar in price to the ones on existing Bay Area bridges will be necessary to generate the millions of dollars needed to complete these projects.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 9/27/2019)

    In December 2019, it was reported that the California Coastal Conservancy voted unanimously for a $1.5 million stage grant for a project aimed at reducing flooding near Route 37 and bolstering nearby wetlands near Novato. The funding permits the Marin Flood Control and Water Conservation District to perform the enhancement work on 136 acres of wetlands in Simmons Slough, as part of a larger effort to restore habitat in the bay lands and manage flood control, manage water management. The Department of Water Resources grant will be used to replace and repair culverts, stabilize banks, install weirs, replace a failed diesel pump station with a fully electric pump and enhance wetland habitat. The work will allow the area to retain more water during the wet season. While the project won’t address issues such as levee breeches that occurred in early 2019, county senior engineer Roger Leventhal said it will help drain flooded areas of the watershed more quickly once a breach is fixed. In turn, this will reduce flood waters from ponding over larger periods, he said. The project also includes restoration of three acres of seasonal wetlands owned by Marin Audubon, which was cut off from the bay by the construction of Highway 37 and levees along Novato Creek. The organization plans to begin planting wetland plants starting in January and February, with the habitat restoration benefiting migratory birds. The entire project will costs about $2.2 million, with the remainder being covered by the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District’s Zone 1. Construction is expected to begin in spring or summer of 2020 depending on the contractor bidding timeline.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 12/20/2019)

    In January 2020, the CTC amended the scope of this project in the long-lead time SHOPP: 04-Mrn-37 R11.2/13.7 R11.2/14.6. PPNO 5200. ProjID 0419000376. EA 4Q320. In and near Novato, from Route 101 to 0.1 mile west of Atherton Avenue Sonoma County line; also in Sonoma County on Route 37, from Marin County line to Route 121 (PM 0.0/3.9). Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. According to the amendment, after discussions with the stakeholders and resource agencies, a decision was made to extend the project limits by 4.8 miles to provide a facility more resilient to climate change. An additional four years are necessary to enable further studies of the new segment.
    (Source: January 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1f) Item 1)

    In February 2020, it was reported that Route 37 may become a toll road under a new state bill introduced in February 2020. Toll revenues would be used to fund major rebuild and flood protections of the busy East Bay-North Bay connector in preparation for sea level rise and flooding impacts. The bill would implement the first major climate change adaptation project in the entire Bay Area road system. Additionally, the tolls would provide funding to bolster the surrounding wildlife habitat and address congestion issues that would only grow worse over time. Route 37 has already been impacted by flooding caused by heavy storms and levee breeches in recent years, including closures in early 2019. Sea level projections show flooding would exacerbate over time with major sections of the 21-mile highway projected to be under water by the end of the century. Much of the details of the bill and the tolls will need to be hammered out in the coming months. The toll price could be similar to tolls on Bay Area bridges at a range of $5 to $6, which could raise a conservative estimate of $650 million over 20 years. Given that project estimates could range in the $3 billion to $4 billion range, the authority would work to leverage its toll revenue to obtain state and federal funds.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 2/21/2020)

    The 2020 SHOPP, approved in May 2020, included the following Carryover Long Lead Multiple Objective item of interest (carried over from the 2018 SHOPP): 04-Marin-37 PM R11.2/14.6 PPNO 1490P Proj ID 0419000376 EA 4Q320. Route 37 in and near Novato, from Route 101 to Sonoma County line; also in Sonoma County on Route 37, from Marin County line to Route 121 (PM 0.0/3.9). Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. Note: Studies for long-term improvements to address the sea level rise and recurrent flooding, complex environmental studies including lengthy coordination with multiple agencies, and substantial coordination with railroad, utility companies and adjacent owners. Programmed in FY30-31, with construction scheduled to start in May 2031. Total project cost is $884,100K, with $840,200K being capital (const and right of way) and $43,900K being support (engineering, environmental, etc.). Only the PA&ED allocation of $10,000K is authorized in the 2020 SHOPP.
    (Source: 2020 Approved SHOPP a/o May 2020)

    In July 2020, it was reported that a state appeals court has upheld a lower court’s ruling allowing a 2018 voter-approved toll hike on state-owned bridges in the Bay Area to stand, a move that could finally unleash up to $4.5 billion to pay for regional road and transit upgrades, including projects tied to US 101, SMART and Route 37 in the North Bay. A three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco issued its decision on Monday, siding with the Bay Area Toll Authority following oral arguments in late May. A planned appeal to the state Supreme Court, however, could further stall the funding and delay dozens of projects that depend on it. The ruling goes against the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and a Contra Costa resident, who together sued over Regional Measure 3, arguing it was a tax that needed a two-thirds majority and not a simple majority when 55% of voters approved it two years ago. But the appellate court upheld the ruling of a San Francisco Superior Court judge, who in April last year found the toll increases represented a user fee, not a tax. Tim Bittle, director of legal affairs for the taxpayers association, said the group intends to appeal. It is not yet clear, Goodwin said, whether the collected revenues from the three scheduled $1 toll hikes, which started in January 2019, could be disbursed before the state’s high court takes up the case, if it does. The three Sonoma County projects guaranteed funding under Regional Measure 3 include: $120 million toward completing the US 101 Sonoma-Marin Narrows lane-widening; $100 million for Route 37 improvements; and $40 million for SMART’s Windsor extension, which is slated to be finished by the end of 2021. Without those funds, however, none of the projects — nor the dozens of others in the Bay Area — can proceed.
    (Source: Press Democrat, 6/30/2020)

    In April 2021, it was reported that a three-pronged effort is being pursued to resolve the recurring problems along a 21-mile section of Route 37 from US 101 in Novato to Mare Island and I-80 including short term, interim and permanent remedies. These were presented at a virtual town hall in mid-April 2021. The Resilient 37 Executive Steering Committee’s three-pronged plan is as follows:
    (Source: North Bay Business Journal, 4/16/2021)

    • Conduct an Ultimate Resilient Sea Level Rise Design Alternatives Assessment focusing on Route 37 within Marin and Sonoma counties between US 101 and Route 121. The future risk assessment process is scheduled to be finalized by August.
    • Develop a comprehensive multimodal corridor plan to identify goals, corridor needs and challenges, and project priorities for various modes of travel to inform decision-making and future funding.
    • Continue a corridor-wide effort known as planning and environmental linkage (PEL) to identify and narrow the range of alternatives to be advanced for environmental review and construction. This accelerated PEL process includes fast tracking the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental reviews.

    In addition, there are flood reduction projects underway along the highway. One reduces flooding through CalTrans efforts from US 101 to Sears Point that include new paving and repairing low spots, building concrete walls, adding drains, controlling water with flood gates, dams and pumps, as well as having inflatable barriers. Several of these improvements have already been made. Officials are considering a potential initiative that involves removing the median fixed barrier and using a movable barrier as an interim solution to add a carpool lane for the east and west bound lanes during morning and evening commutes from Sonoma Raceway to Mare Island. A study is also being conducted for a way to raise the roadbed from US 101 to Sears Point. Another option would also allow the shoulder to be used as a carpool lane to create four lanes, while another possible approach would build a four-lane highway with carpool lanes during peak periods. To help address climate change, encourage ride sharing and micro transit as well as make express bus transit feasible on the corridor, all options being considered would add carpool lane(s). Caltrans and the MTC are leading studies on a long-term objective that would lift the corridor out of the marshlands and lead to the construction of a bridge over San Pablo Bay. Alternative road alignment(s) away from marshland are also on the table for consideration as options for the existing route. Funding this overall multi-billion-dollar improvement project will most likely require tolls on the corridor section through the marshland adjusted for users based on their income levels. Such tolls are seen as a matching incentive to attract state and federal funds.
    (Source: North Bay Business Journal, 4/16/2021)

    In December 2021, it was reported that data presented at the Oct. 7 State Route 37 Policy Committee meeting showed that a possible Napa/Carneros rerouting for Route 37 has drawbacks. One proposed solution is to elevate and widen the highway along its present route from Vallejo to Novato through Solano, Sonoma, and Marin counties. Another is to move the highway away from marshland to higher ground. The committee was exploring places to relocate the western Route 37 segment in Marin/Sonoma counties. But that involved considering the highway route as a whole. Consulting firm T.Y. Lin International Group looked at the top 10 Route 37 commutes from origin to destination. A northern route that included the Napa County Carneros area would increase vehicle miles traveled by 12%. In addition, a northern route could increase congestion on Route 12 through Jameson Canyon, on Highway 29 through American Canyon and on other regional roadways as traffic patterns changed. Congestion can lead to more greenhouse gas emissions. The Napa County route idea has been around for several years, apparently to keep all options on the table. Even in 2018, the idea received a cold reception from the State Route 37 Policy Committee.
    (Source: Napa Valley Register, 12/6/2021)

    In January 2022, the CTC amended this project in the SHOPP as follows: 04-Mrn-37 PM R11.2/14.6. PPNO 04-5200; ProjID 0419000376; EA 4Q320. Route 37 In and near Novato, from Route 101 to Sonoma County line; also in Sonoma County on Route 37, from Marin County line to Route 121 (PM 0.0/3.9). Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. (Long Lead Project) Allocation changes: Zero out everything but PA&ED (Environmental). Note: Remove funding beyond the environmental phase for this long lead project.  Future phases will be programmed when the scope is well defined and input from the regulatory agencies is available.
    (Source: January 2022 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(1f) #2)

    In February 2022, it was reported that Caltrans has unveiled new details of a plan to upgrade and eventually rebuild the Route 37 corridor. The discussion includes several options to rebuild or reroute the highway, including raising the existing road, rerouting it farther north and even building a new bridge across San Pablo Bay. While the rebuild project would be decades out, Caltrans is also proposing a project in the coming years to widen a bottlenecked section of the highway that backs up traffic for more than an hour in some cases. Caltrans has developed eight concepts for how it could reroute or rebuild Route 37 in the coming decades. The options range from rerouting the highway to other roads farther north; keeping the route by either elevating the highway or building a new levee system; or building a new bridge across north San Pablo Bay connecting Marin to Solano County. The plan also calls for building a separated bike and pedestrian path along the new corridor as well as integrating transit options such as bus routes, trains and ferries. The study, set for completion in late summer or early fall, will help narrow the options, which will then undergo a full environmental review. To address traffic issues, Caltrans proposes to begin widening a 10-mile section of the highway from Sears Point to Mare Island in 2025. The section bottlenecks from two lanes to one lane each, which increases travel times by 30 minutes during the morning commute and up to 80 minutes during the afternoon commute, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area’s top transportation planning agency. To reduce travel time, Caltrans wants to add at least one carpool lane that would also allow the potential for public transit buses to use the highway for the first time. Caltrans outlined four construction options on Wednesday that would cost between $256 million and $415 million and would be paid for by tolling the highway. A draft environmental review of the proposals is up for public review and comment. One option would add a moveable barrier to the highway — similar to that used on the Golden Gate Bridge — to shift the extra carpool lane during peak westbound and eastbound commute hours. The project would cost an estimated $256 million, including an additional $2 million per year for maintenance and staffing costs. The second option would be to add a third lane to the highway, which would be shifted to the westbound or eastbound direction based on peak commute times. This option would cost an estimated $306 million. The last two options would widen the highway to four lanes to add a carpool lane in each direction. One option would have shoulders of only 4 feet, while the other option would have an 8-foot shoulder and would widen the Sonoma Creek Bridge. This fourth option would also be the only one to allow for bicycle access. These options would cost an estimated $325 million to $415 million.
    (Source: Mercury News, 2/4/2022)

    In July 2022, it was reported that the state Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom have allocated $30 million in the state budget to begin planning for defenses against climate change for the area. The budget adopted provides $20 million to begin designing flood protections on Route 37 (04-Mrn-37 PM R11.2/14.6. PPNO 04-5200; ProjID 0419000376; EA 4Q320) and the Novato Creek Bridge (04-Mrn-37 0.0). Another $10 million is for planning defenses for recurring flooding on US 101 that blocks the only road in and out of Marin City (~ 04-Mrn-101 3.393). Route 37, the 21-mile link between I-80 and US 101 near Novato, is used daily by nearly 50,000 commuters, many of them making their way to jobs in the North Bay. The low-lying highway along the bay has regularly experienced prolonged closures because of flooding. By 2040, sea-level rise threatens to regularly inundate the corridor, making it virtually unusable, according to Caltrans. Caltrans is studying several projects to overhaul the road, including a complete rebuild or rerouting of the highway. One nearer-term project is the rebuilding of the Novato Creek Bridge. The bridge placement project is being studied as part of an environmental review of a problematic 4-mile section of highway between Novato and the Black Point Bridge. This section has flooded twice since 2017, including in the winter of 2019, causing the highway to close for days or weeks at a time. The study, which will include various design options, is set for completion next year. Regardless of the option that is studied, the Novato Creek Bridge will need to be replaced, and funding can be utilized for the design costs of the Novato Creek Bridge, interim fixes and raising the highway corridor in some of the most vulnerable sections. With respect to the US 101 funding, Marin City has long dealt with US 101 flooding that blocks the only access point in and out of the community during heavy rains and high tides. The $10 million state allocation allows Caltrans, the Transportation Authority of Marin and other project partners to begin design work or environmental reviews for flood control projects. One proposed project would elevate a section of a southbound US 101 lane and the offramp at the Marin City exit. The project would also build a 700-foot floodwall between the highway and a stormwater pond near the Gateway Shopping Center, as well as facilities to pump water from the pond into Richardson Bay.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 7/3/2022)

    In September 2022, it was reported that Caltrans, in order to keep traffic flowing decades from now, intends to build an elevated road along Route 37 to combat rising water levels, which are expected to eventually inundate the North Bay arterial. The proposed project essentially stretches across the existing route along San Pablo Bay and through Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties. It preserves travel patterns, allows landward marsh migration and is resilient to sea level rises, officials said in explaining its benefits. The concept was one of 10 presented earlier this year, most of which were eliminated over months of discussion with North Bay cities, agencies and organizations. The eliminated concepts mostly suggested creating routes via existing and new roads between US 101 in Sonoma and Marin counties and Route 29 in Napa County. Other plans focused on bridge construction between Novato and Vallejo. Caltrans officials announced the final plan during a Sept. 14 2022 public meeting about the rising water, which is expected to overtake Route 37 by 2050. The favored plan also proposes the route have a 60 mph speed limit, as well as two lanes in each direction with bicycle and pedestrian paths. The plan is in its early stages and officials haven’t identified a cost or funding source.
    (Source: Sonoma Index Tribune/Press Democrat, 9/18/2022)

    In February 2023, it was reported that State and local transportation agencies announced a partnership agreement to implement more pressing improvements to the highway while a longer-term solution to the problem is hammered out. The partnership is between the California State Transportation Agency, the California Natural Resources Agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Caltrans District 4, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. The group issued a statement that said, "This agreement is the first step toward a re-envisioned Highway 37 that is resilient to sea level rise, protects critical marsh and tidal habitats, reduces transportation inequities and incorporates bicycle, pedestrian, transit and carpool options for travelers." The six transportation and environmental entities have agreed to begin by widening the highway along a 10-mile traffic bottleneck. At the same time, the coalition agreed to begin initial work to plan for a proposed elevated highway. The agreement also prioritizes projects to prevent regular flooding of the highway near Novato. Agencies such as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Caltrans say the elevated highway project could require upwards of $8 billion in funding and significant planning before it can be built. Caltrans estimates the widening project, which would add a carpool lane in each direction between Sears Point and Mare Island, would cost nearly $500 million. The project partners aim to begin construction of the widening project in 2027. The widening will require thousands of truckloads of sediment to be placed on protected wildlife habitats that are home to endangered species. Proponents of the elevated causeway project also said it would simultaneously be the largest wetland restoration project on the West Coast by reopening the marshlands to tidal influence, which is currently blocked by the highway.
    (Source: CBS Bay Area, 2/9/2023; Marin I-J, 2/13/2023)

    Rte 37 Tolling ProposalOn March 27, 2023, the CTC received an application from the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority, a joint powers authority that serves as the infrastructure financing arm of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, to authorize a toll lane in each direction of the Route 37 corridor from Sears Point to the Mare Island interchange in Vallejo. This portion of the corridor currently is a two-lane conventional highway. The Route 37 Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project would reconfigure the existing roadway to provide a tolled lane and a high-occupancy vehicle lane in each direction. It also would introduce bus transit service along the high-occupancy vehicle lane, establish an equity discount program for the tolled lane, and include climate adaptation strategies to mitigate flooding risks. The project is a partnership between the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Transportation Authority of Marin, the Sonoma County Transportation Authority, the Solano Transportation Authority, and the Napa Valley Transportation Authority. With Caltrans as the lead agency, the environmental phase of the project was completed on February 9, 2023 pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. AB 194 requires the Commission to find, at a minimum, that the application meets six criteria. In addition, the Commission’s guidelines, adopted in March 2016, strongly encourage applicants to provide supplemental information regarding the project. AB 194 further requires the Commission to hold at least one hearing to receive public comment on the application at or near the proposed facility. On April 24, the Commission held a public hearing in Vallejo.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.3, 4.4)

    As noted above, a requirement of the toll application is that six criteria be demonstrated. (1) is that the proposed toll facility will improve the corridor's performance by, for example, increasing passenger throughput or reducing delays for freight shipments and travelers, especially those traveling by carpool, vanpool, and transit. Route 37 runs 21 miles, connecting US 101 in the west with I-80 in the east. The westernmost section from US 101 to Sears Point is a four-lane expressway and the easternmost section from Mare Island to I-80 is a four-lane freeway. The middle section, which is the subject of the project application, is a two-lane conventional highway. According to the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority’s application, two bottlenecks form where the existing two lanes merge into one lane in both the eastbound and westbound directions. Motorists experience significant recurring traffic congestion and delays at these bottlenecks, with queues extending 2.1 miles in the westbound direction in the morning and 4.7 miles in the eastbound direction in the evening. Maximum travel times are 60 minutes during the westbound morning period commute and 100 minutes during the eastbound evening period commute. By 2045, under the no build scenario, the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority projects the queues to increase to 23.4 miles westbound and 19.4 miles eastbound and maximum travel times of 274 minutes for the eastbound morning commute and 323 minutes for the westbound evening commute. By 2045, after the proposed project is completed, the eastbound peak period queue length would be 5.9 miles (a decrease of 17.5 miles) and the westbound peak period queue length would be 4.3 miles (a decrease of 15.1 miles). Maximum travel times during the peak period eastbound would be 97 to 101 minutes (a decrease of 173 to 177 minutes) and westbound would be 42 to 58 minutes (a decrease of 265 to 281 minutes). The application also documents substantial improvements in the duration of congestion, hourly flows, total peak period throughput, average delay, average speeds, vehicle hours of travel, and vehicle hours of delay. Further, the project would allow for bus transit service on the corridor between Vallejo and Novato that is not be feasible without improved traffic flow.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.3, 4.4)

    The project also (2) needs to be in a regional transportation plan ( Metropolitan Transportation Commission Plan Bay Area 2050 (Regional Transportation Plan, RTP ID# 21-T06-035)), (3) have cooperation between the regional transportation agency and Caltrans (support letters were submitted), (4) meet the requirements of Streets and Highways Code Section 149.7, as amended by Assembly Bill 194. This contains requirements for tolling applicants approved by the Commission regarding matters such as law enforcement for the toll facility; the use of toll revenues; the collection of toll revenues; and bond financing. The last two requirements are (5) a complete project initiation document for the proposed toll facility, and (6) a complete funding plan for development and operation of the toll facility. All of these were provided.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.3, 4.4)

    In April 2023, it was reported that the California Transportation Commission was holding public hearings about a proposal that would start charging tolls on Route 37. If approved, the toll would go into effect for a 10 mile stretch of Route 37, from Mare Island in Solano County to Sears Point in Sonoma County. The roadway has multiple challenges, including  heavy congestion and increased flooding thanks to climate change. The current proposal sees implementing a toll as way to raise the funds need to address some of the issues. Those opposed to the toll argued that the toll, which would be on the Solano side of the highway, would unfairly impact the many commuters on this route that live in Vallejo and travel westward to work in Sonoma or Marin counties. Often, those commuters are lower-income, as the housing is less expensive in Vallejo. Despite the opposition, transportation officials say in order to fund the project, tough choices may have to be made.
    (Source: ABC 7 Bay Area, 4/24/2023)

    The CTC Agenda Item noted that many comments received by the Commission were critical of the idea of paying a toll to use Route 37 due to the financial hardships it would impose. However, the Route 37 Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project will include an equity discount program for toll payers and the introduction of transit service. Moreover, the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority’s application includes data showing that low-income State Route 37 users are disproportionally impacted by the congestion on Route 37 and would benefit from reduced travel time and improved travel time reliability. The Commission also received a few comments in support of the application, including from a regional employer association, the North Bay Leadership Council, stating that employees would be willing to pay a toll to improve commute times.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.3, 4.4)

    In May 2023, it was noted that the long term solution is to replace the existing 2-lane section with a 4-lane elevated causeway.  However, that proposal is extremely expensive and there are significant congestion issues on that section that need to be addressed now.  So, in order to fix the congestion and to start building up funds for the long-term solution, the plan is to widen that existing 2-lane section to 4 lanes.   There was legislation introduced in 2022 to toll all the lanes in this section but it didn’t pass.  Thus this alternative solution, which is to make the new lanes a toll lane.  After that (i.e., within the next few years), the remaining lanes would be converted to toll lanes.
    (Source: Joe Rouse on AARoads, "Re: Highway 37 could become the next "Toll Bridge"", 5/5/2023)

    In May 2023, the CTC approved a resolution that the Commission finds the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority’s Application for Route 37, Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project – Toll Facility consistent with Assembly Bill 194 and the Commission's guidelines, and approved the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority’s application to develop and operate toll lanes on Route 37 in the Marin, Sonoma, and Solano Counties. They noted they were not committing to approve applications for funding for the project, and that, consistent with Commission guidelines, the Commission expects the Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority will request approval of any substantial changes to the project by submitting a supplement to the project application.
    (Source: May 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 4.3, 4.4)

    In August 2023, it was reported that the CTC approved $155 million for the project to elevate the Novato Creek Bridge (Bridge № 27-0011, 04-Sol-37 11.96), where flooding in recent years has led to Route 37 closures and headaches for tens of thousands of commuters. Caltrans plans to raise the bridge along with its eastern and western approaches by 30 feet over the creek. Caltrans estimates the project will last from the summer of 2027 to the summer of 2029. The project is one piece of a proposed multi-billion-dollar plan to elevate the 21-mile corridor linking Marin and Solano counties by 2040 in response to rising bay water that threatens to regularly inundate the highway. Caltrans spokesman Pedro Quintana said the money will fully fund the right-of-way and construction of the bridge, but further funding will be needed for a proposed bicycle and pedestrian path. Note that this wasn't an allocation—it was an "approval", and references the following CTC item: In August 2023, the CTC amended the 2022 SHOPP regarding the following project: 04-Mrn-37 R11.2/14.6 R11.2/13.8. PPNO 04-5200; ProjID 0419000376; EA 4Q320. Route 37 In and near Novato, from Route 101 to Sonoma County line; also in Sonoma County on Route 37, from Marin County line to Route 121 (PM 0.0/3.9). from Route 101 to Atherton Avenue. Reconstruct the roadway to address sea level rise and recurrent flooding. Additional contribution of $20,000,000 for PS&E from the General Fund provided by Assembly Bill 178 (AB 178). Long Lead Project. Allocation changes ($ × 1,000): PA&ED Prior $10,000; R/W Sup $0 $100; Con Sup $0 $25,000; R/W Cap $0 $200; Const Cap $0 $130,000; TOTAL $10,000 $165,300. FY23-24 through FY25-26. So where does the $155,000,000 come from? $165,300,000 (the total for the project) less the $10,000,000 prior PA&ED spending previously approved is $155,300,000.
    (Source: Marin IJ, 8/20/2023; August 2023 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2a.(1d) #6)

    In September 2023, it was reported that the first phase of a massive plan to elevate Route 37 to prevent regular inundation from sea-level rise is set to begin with an estimated $1.6 billion project in Marin. Caltrans plans to rebuild a 2.5-mile section of the 21-mile North Bay commuter route as an elevated causeway from the Route 101 interchange in Novato to the Atherton Avenue exit. The project would be the first in the agency’s plan to elevate the entire highway onto a causeway before the road connecting Marin and Solano counties becomes regularly inundated by rising sea levels, which Caltrans projects will begin in 2040. At a public hearing on the proposal in Novato in September 2023, Caltrans said the project is needed “to incorporate resiliency on the corridor to the effect of sea level rise to 2130 and flooding from stormwater.” The state agency plans to conduct the project in two phases, beginning by rebuilding the Novato Creek Bridge onto a 35-foot-high causeway by June 2029. The second phase, aimed for completion in 2049, would rebuild the remaining sections of the 2.5-mile portion of the highway as a 114-foot-wide causeway including a bicycle and pedestrian path. The existing road will be removed after the project is completed in 2049. The total project cost is estimated to be nearly $1.6 billion. The causeway plan, detailed in a draft environmental analysis released in late August 2023, would include four 12-foot-wide vehicle lanes; two 10-foot-wide inside shoulders and two 12-foot-wide outside shoulders; and a 14-foot-wide bicycle or pedestrian path. The two sides of the road would be separated by a 2-foot-wide median barrier. The bicycle path would also be separated from vehicle traffic by a barrier. Caltrans plans to begin with the Novato Creek Bridge given its existing flooding issues, which have recently caused full highway closures since 2017 and headaches for tens of thousands of commuters. Caltrans states that it would be able to maintain traffic on the highway for most of the first phase of construction, with traffic impacts expected to add 15-minute delays. The agency plans to maintain four lanes of traffic by constructing a 1,000-foot-long median between the existing highway. Caltrans would divert westbound traffic onto the median first and would remove the existing westbound bridge. The median will then be widened by 30 feet, allowing Caltrans to divert eastbound traffic onto the median and remove the existing eastbound bridge. Two weekend closures would be needed during the first phase, in which traffic would be rerouted onto city and county roads. The proposed detour route would divert westbound traffic onto the Harbor Drive exit and have traffic travel on Atherton Avenue before entering US 101. The second phase of construction is also expected to cause up to 15 minutes of delay, based on existing traffic volumes, but could be increased due to planned closures of the Atherton Avenue on-ramps and off-ramps, according to Caltrans. Some Marin officials and environmental organizations said they support the plan to elevate the highway given its environmental benefits and the existing flooding impacts.
    (Source: Marin I-J, 9/30/2023)

    In December 2023, it was reported that the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved a $50 million grant to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to help MTC, Caltrans and project partners advance transportation and ecological resilience along Route 37 between Vallejo and Sears Point. This includes restoration of the tidal marsh known as Strip Marsh East in Solano County and replacement of the existing Route 37 bridge over Tolay Creek in Sonoma County with a much longer bridge that will promote restoration of the historic San Pablo Baylands adjacent to and north of the highway by allowing more water to flow into and out of the creek channel. The CTC awarded the grant through its Local Transportation Climate Adaptation Program, which was established last year to make California’s transportation infrastructure more resilient to hazards created by climate change. The restoration of Strip Marsh East, which lies between Route 37 and San Pablo Bay south of Cullinan Ranch and west of Mare Island, is a nature-based solution to support habitat for threatened and endangered species as well as spur adaptation to flooding and sea-level rise. The Tolay Creek bridge replacement will reduce the highway’s vulnerability to flooding by promoting creation of a wider creek channel. MTC identified these marshland enhancements as the Bay Area’s top priority for LTCAP funds. Together, these improvements will comprise the first phase of an estimated $430 million project to improve traffic flow along the 10-mile stretch of Route 37 between Sears Point and Mare Island, introduce transit service between Vallejo and Novato, and reduce flooding along the corridor, as well as restore North Bay marshlands.
    (Source: Bay Link Blog, 12/7/2023)

    Freeway Completion: Napa River Bridge to I-80

    Prior to the 2000s, there was a gap in the Route 37 freeway between the Napa River bridge (037 SOL R007.39) and Marine World (037 SOL 10.868). The current proposed alignment for the replacement freeway is:

    • Between Wilson Ave and Enterprise St, the freeway will be on the same alignment as current Route 37. Rodgers St and Selfridge St will dead end at Route 37, and Sacramento St will fly over Route 37 to meet an extended Wilson Ave.
    • East of Enterprise St, the freeway will swing north of the current Route 37 and intersect Route 29 with a 6-ramp partial cloverleaf, with loop ramps from Route 29 South to Route 37 West to Route 29 North to Route 37 East.
    • From there, the freeway will run parallel to the current Route 37 and join where the current freeway ends near Diablo Rd.

    The current Route 37 between Route 29 and Diablo Rd will become a local street. Diablo Rd will be rejoined to the old Route 37. In June 2002, the CTC had on its agenda an item for $50,600,000 for Route 37 in Vallejo between Enterprise Street and Diablo Street to construct new Route 29 interchange and four lane freeway. This is also in the MTC 2001 Regional Transportation Plan.

    According to Chris Sampang, as of June 2004, a semi-elevated freeway is under construction north of this temporary four lane segment to bypass the businesses west of Marine World and the crowded intersection of Route 29 and Route 37. An older two lane (plus center turning lane) section of Route 37 (Marine World Parkway) to the south of the temporary four-lane alignment has been cut off and is now a cul-de-sac, with at least one business (a former USA/Beacon gas station) succumbing to the lack of traffic. It appears the temporary four-lane segment that currently carries Route 37 at grade across Route 29 will become the future eastbound exit (exit numbers and such are already present even though the elevated bypass is not complete). It isn't clear if the old alignment east of Route 29 or the temporary alignment west of Route 29 will become part of eastbound ramps, but that appears to be the arrangement being proposed.

    As of 2006, the freeway between Mare Island and I-80 was completed.

    In May 2009, the CTC approved relinquishment of right of way in the city of Vallejo along Route 37 from Sacramento Street (approx 037 SOL 8.461) to Antioch Drive, consisting of superseded highway right of way, relocated or reconstructed city streets and a bike path.

    PPNO 5201G: Route 37/Fairgrounds Dr Interchange Improvements (SOL 10.966)

    The 2020 STIP, approved at the March 2020 CTC meeting, included programming for PPNO 5201G Rt 37/Fairgrounds Dr Interchange improvements, with $5,000K in CONST funds allocated in FY21-22.
    (Source: March 2020 CTC Agenda, Item 4.7, 2020 STIP Adopted 3/25/2020)

    In April 2021, it was reported that Solano County has submitted the Route 37 and Fairgrounds Drive interchange project, which is viewed as critical for the Solano360 project as well as a general economic benefit to that part of Vallejo, for federal Community Project Funding. It is part of a list of projects that will go to Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, to be included among the 10 projects each can request for the earmark dollars. The House of Representatives recently in 2021 to bring back the practice of earmark spending, which allows for individual representatives to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects or programs. The practice had been banned since 2011, largely due the criticism that it lends itself to wasteful “pork barrel” and “special interest” spending.
    (Source: Solano Daily Republic, 4/7/2021)

    However.... in May 2021, the CTC received notice that the Solano Transportation Authority (STA) proposes to delete STIP construction (CON) funds from the Route 37 Fairgrounds Drive Interchange Improvement Project – Phase 1 project (PPNO 5201G) and reprogram those and additional STIP funds to cover the Plans, Specifications and Estimate (PS&E) funding shortfall for the Westbound I-80 Cordelia Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility project (PPNO 8273C) in Solano County. As part of the Senate Bill 1 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) (SB1) Cycle 2 adoption of new projects, the Commission programmed $24,000,000 in TCEP funds to the PS&E phase of the I-80 Cordelia Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility project.  This total of $24,000,000 in TCEP funds include $11,708,000 in TCEP-State shares and the remaining $12,294,000 in TCEP-Regional shares.  TCEP guidelines require a minimum of 30 percent match in local funds for the TCEP-Regional shares.  The current funding plan for PS&E shows $5,268,000 in local Regional Measure 3 (RM3) funds being used for this required match.  However, the RM3 funds are not currently available due to an on-going litigation.  To keep the project delivery on schedule, STA is proposing to delete $5,000,000 RIP/STIP construction funds from the Route 37 Fairgrounds Drive Interchange Improvement Project - Phase 1 project (PPNO 5201G) and reprogram these funds to partially-cover the funding shortfall for the I-80 Cordelia Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility project (PPNO 8273C).  In addition, STA is also requesting to program $300,000 from future RIP STIP shares to fully-fund its match requirement for the TCEP funds. Once the RM3 funds become available, these funds will be used to deliver the Route 37 Fairgrounds Drive Interchange Improvement Project - Phase 1 project. This was approved at the June 2021 CTC meeting.
    (Source: May 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1b.(4); June 2021 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.1a.(6))

    In June 2021, it was reported that Congressman Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, is attempting to secure the $ 4 million required from the presidential proposed infrastructure bill for the Interchange Improvement Project, approved by all seven mayors of Solano County. The highway intersection, right next to the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, affects everyone, says Thompson. However, passage of the bill in Congress is uncertain.
    (Source: California News Times, 6/2/2021)

    In July 2023, it was reported that MTC’s Programming and Allocations Committee recommended allocations of Regional Measure 3 toll dollars for this project. The committee's recommendation will be considered by the full Commission at its July 26 2023 meeting. The specific allocation was: Solano Transportation Authority: $15 million for construction of improvements to the State Route 37/Fairgrounds Drive interchange in Vallejo.
    (Source: MTG/ABAG Bay Link Blog, 7/12/2023)

    Naming Naming

    Valley of the Moon Scenic HighwayThe portion of this route running through Sonoma County is called the "Valley of the Moon Scenic Route" (~ SON 0.000 to SON 6.088). "Valley of the Moon" was the name Jack London, resident of Glen Ellen, coined for this area.
    (Image Source: Flikr)

    The portion of this route from Route 121 at Sears Point to Vallejo (~ SON 3.985 to SOL R9.565) is named the "Sears Point Toll Road". It was named by Chapter 393 in 1933.

    The portion of Route 37 between the Atherton Avenue undercrossing at PM SON 13.773 and its junction with Route 121 at PM SON 3.900 is named the “Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway”. Named by Senate Resolution SCR 28, Resolution Chapter 64, 07/09/21.

    Randy Bolt Memorial HighwayThe portion of this route from Skaggs Island Road to Route 29 (~ SOL 1.688 to SOL R9.703) is named the "Randy Bolt Memorial Highway". Special Agent William Randall "Randy" Bolt was killed on May 9, 1995 in a traffic accident while on duty as a special agent with the Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. He was driving eastbound Route 37, east of Skaggs Island Road, Solano County, California, when at approximately 7:25 a.m., a party driving a vehicle westbound crossed the painted double yellow lines directly into the path of Randy Bolt's unmarked Department of Justice vehicle. The two vehicles collided head-on and both Randy Bolt and the party driving the other vehicle died instantly. He was only 48 years old at the time of his death. Agent Bolt began his tenure as a law enforcement officer for the State of California in the year 1968 with the Fremont Police Department and subsequent to that employment, he was employed by the Placer County Sheriff's Department and the San Rafael Police Department. In 1988, he was appointed to the Department of Justice and assigned to the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, Riverside regional office. In 1990, he was transferred to the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, San Francisco regional office where he worked until his untimely death. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 95, Chapter 128, September 24, 2001.
    (Image sources: Officer Down Memorial Page; AAroads)

    Officer James Capoot Memorial HighwayThe portion of this route between Route 29 and I-80 (~ SOL R9.703 to SOL R11.612) is named the Vallejo Police Officer James Capoot Memorial Highway. It was named in memory of James Lowell Capoot. He was born in 1966, in Little Rock, Arkansas, attended local schools, and graduated from John L. McClellan High School in 1985, where he excelled on the cross country and track teams. After graduation, Jim enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and was stationed at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo. Jim completed active duty with the United States Marine Corps in 1989, but remained on active reserve until 1993, and he began his law enforcement career with the Department of the California Highway Patrol in 1990. In 1993, Jim joined the Vallejo Police Department, where he served for over 18 years as a motorcycle officer, motorcycle instructor, driving instructor, and SWAT officer. During his service with the Vallejo Police Department, Jim received two Medals of Courage, one Life-Saving Medal, and many other department commendations, as well as the Officer of the Year Award. Jim was killed in the line of duty on November 17, 2011. Named by Senate Concurrent Resolution 6, August 29, 2013. Resolution Chapter 85.
    (Image sources: Times-Herald, Vallejo Police Press Release)

    Marine World Vallejo LogoIn Vallejo, Route 37 is "Marine World Parkway" (~ SOL R9.738 to SOL R10.184). Marine World was located in Vallejo; it is now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and it appears the road was renamed to Lewis Brown Drive..
    (Image source: ThemeParkBrochures)

    Officer Gary L. HughesThe eastbound I-80/Route 37 interchange (~ SOL R11.612) is named the "Gary L. Hughes Memorial Interchange". Officer Gary L. Hughes and his partner Officer Lancer R. Thelen stopped and arrested a suspected drunk driver along Interstate 80 in Vallejo. Hughes was sitting in the rear of the patrol car with the suspect when a pick-up truck camper plowed into the patrol car pinning Hughes against the front seat and causing massive head injuries. The 38-year-old Patrol officer died enroute to the hospital and the prisoner received minor injuries. Thelen was near the front of the patrol car with a tow truck operator completing paperwork for impounding the suspect's vehicle when they were struck by the patrol car as it was rammed by the truck camper. Thelen suffered a severe leg injury and the tow truck operator had a compound leg fracture. The driver of the truck camper was taken into custody on charges of felony drunk driving and manslaughter. Hughes was an 11-year veteran of the Patrol. Named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 100, Chapter 124, in 1998.
    (Image source: California Association of Highway Patrolmen)

    Historically, this route is close to the original "El Camino Real" (The Kings Road). A portion of this route has officially been designated as part of "El Camino Real by Assembly Bill 1707, Chapter 739, on October 11, 2001.

    Named Structures Named Structures

    Richard Janson BridgeThe Sonoma Creek Bridge (Bridge 23-0063, SON R000.01) is officially named the "Richard "Fresh Air" Janson Bridge". It was named by Assembly Concurrent Resolution 68 in 1996. Richard Ludwig "Fresh Air Dick" Janson (d. 1951), a native of Estonia who made his home in Sonoma County, is recognized as the premier waterfowl decoy carver in the western United States. Known as "Fresh Air" for his reverence for wildlife, Janson lived for most of his life on an ark moored half a mile from the bridge—formerly known as the Sonoma Creek Bridge; he died in 1951.
    (Image sources: Press Democrat, Yelp)

    Interstate Submissions Interstate Submissions

    Submitted for inclusion in the interstate system in 1945 and 1956; not accepted both times. Freeway currently exists from jct with US101 to approximately 4 miles east of US101 to Atherton Ave. Also another freeway section begins at 1 mile before Mare Island, over the Napa River Bridge, and ends 1/2 mile east of the bridge. Freeway then begins 1/2 mile east of Route 29 to junction with I-80.

    Scenic Route Scenic Route

    [SHC 263.4] From Route 101 near Ignacio to Route 29 near Vallejo.

    Double Fine Zones Double Fine Zones

    Between Route 121 and the intersection with Route 29. Authorized by Senate Bill 155, Chapter 169, on July 23, 1999.

    Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

    The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

    County Route Starting PM Ending PM
    Solano 37 R8.00 R8.45
    Solano 37 9.24 9.62
    Solano 37 9.95 10.38
    Solano 37 10.38 R11.92

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route. Added to the Freeway and Expressway system in 1959.

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 37:

Interregional Route Interregional Route

[SHC 164.12] Between the east urban limits of San Francisco-Oakland near Novato and the west urban limits of San Francisco-Oakland near Vallejo.

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

The route that was to become LRN 37 was originally defined in the 1909 statutes (not the bond act) via Chapter 224, which authorized the ...location, survey, and construction of a state highway from Emigrant Gap, Placer County in an E-ly direction through what is known as the Truckee Pass to the W end of Donner Lake in Nevada County... and it shall be the duty of the department to locate, survey, and construct said road along the line of the wagon road known as the Dutch Flat and Donner Lake wagon road..." Its route was changed in 1916 by Chapter 619 (later repealed) which was "for making a change in the location of the Emigrant Gap state road so as to eliminate the grade crossing of said road over the railroad track near Summit Station provided that the Southern Pacific company shall contribute not less than $3,500 for the same purpose." In 1915, Chapter 203 extended the route as part of "...the wagon road extending along the W side of Lake Tahoe, from McKinney's in El Dorado Cty to Tahoe City, thence along the Truckee River to Truckee, and thence in a W-ly direction to Donner Lake in Nevada Cty, connecting with the present state highway from Emigrant Gap" It was also extended by Chapter 678 that same year (1915), which called for "...the county road extending from Auburn in an E-ly direction and connecting with the Emigrant Gap state road at a point near Emigrant Gap." It was extended from Emigrant Gap to Verdi in the 1919 Third Bond Act.

By 1935, it had been codified into the highway code as:

"Auburn to Truckee via Emigrant Gap, the Truckee Pass, and the west end of Donner Lake"

This was primary state highway from Auburn to Truckee.

In 1957, Chapter 1911, relaxed the definition to be "Auburn to [LRN 38] via Emigrant Gap." Chapter 1698 would have changed this to "[LRN 17] near Auburn", but that was overridden by the 1963 renumbering.

This route was signed as US 40, and is present-day I-80.

Acronyms and Explanations:

Back Arrow Route 36 Forward Arrow Route 38

© 1996-2020 Daniel P. Faigin.
Maintained by: Daniel P. Faigin <>.