Design for Santa Rosa highway crossing gets one more look

The crossing would stretch across Highway 101 and link Elliott and Edwards avenues. Construction is more than a year away.|

The design for a bicycle and pedestrian crossing over Highway 101 will be presented once more to Santa Rosa officials during a Dec. 1 meeting.

An updated design to the crossing, which will link Elliott and Edwards avenues immediately south of Coddingtown Mall, is expected to reflect suggestions made last November during a Santa Rosa Design Review Board meeting.

Board members requested refined designs for elements like fencing, railings and the proposed landing on the east side of Highway 101, city officials said this week.

“Design refinements include tapered terminations for the taller cable-mesh fencing over Highway 101 to connect it more gracefully to the shorter fencing outside of state right of way, and improved delineation of active and passive spaces in the east landing area,” Jaime Smedes, communications coordinator for the city of Santa Rosa, said in an email.

The Dec. 1 meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the final design is expected toward the end of 2023, with construction beginning the following spring.

Information on viewing the meeting is available on the project website, which can be found by visiting Santa Rosa’s website and searching “Highway 101 Bicycle & Pedestrian Overcrossing.”

City staff said the project has been planned since the 1990s and is already part of the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.

Construction will cost about $37 million, but only about $23.4 million in funding has been secured.

Concerns about construction funding had lingered for years but were significantly alleviated last year when city officials announced $12 million was acquired for the project from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The final design shows a 14½-foot wide cable-stayed bridge with two bicycle lanes, one pedestrian lane and ramps on either side of the freeway in place of traditional spiral staircases.

It's expected to provide easy access to Coddingtown Mall and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit station on the west side of the highway, and to Santa Rosa Junior College and Santa Rosa High School on the east side.

Currently, the nearest highway crossings are Steele Lane to the north and College Avenue to the south.

“I basically took a lot of turns to get here,” said Santa Rosa resident Brian Dukes, 51, who bicycled Thursday to Coddingtown Mall.

He lives east of Highway 101 and said he would have preferred a more straightforward route instead of having to cross Steele, which Dukes said has heavy traffic and is unsafe for bicyclists.

“A bridge, an easy one-shot, would be great,” he said of the project. “Just make it safe and accessible, you know.”

At a December meeting, members of the public suggested the city also take efforts to prevent homeless individuals from congregating on and around the bridge. People also suggested installing artwork and increased safety measures to improve usage.

City Arts & Culture Manager Tara Thompson said Monday the project was presented to the Santa Rosa Art in Public Places Committee during an April meeting.

“It was really just to bring them up to speed,” Thompson said of the meeting.

Discussion focused on funding for art and where it would be placed on the bridge.

About $50,000 has since been allocated for artwork and it became likely installations would be placed on the bridge’s landing.

Specifics may need to wait until the bridge is completed and “the scope of the project is completely unknown,” Thompson said.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at On Twitter @colin_atagi

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.