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Highway 1 being repaved near Bodega Bay in $4 million project

A 7-mile stretch of Highway 1 is being repaved along the Sonoma County coast near Bodega Bay and travelers should anticipate overnight lane closures for nearly three months.

The $4 million project focuses on the area between Doran Park Road and Rock Point Beach. Repaving is expected to start in mid-August and work is expected to finish by mid-October, Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss said.

Repairs focus on a road traversed by visitors to a region known for its fishing, beaches and coastal sunrises and sunsets. But it’s also a major road that needs to be in good shape in case full-time residents need to leave during emergencies.

“If we have to evacuate, we can only go north or south on Highway 1,” said Liz Martin, a Bodega Bay resident of six years and president of its fire department’s board of directors.

She said Highway 1 is used by residents who drive cars and trucks and tow horses, and that repairs are “long overdue.”

Workers have already begun dig-outs to rebuild roadbed where pavement is damaged, and paving will begin during the second week of August.

“Most of the pavement is in fair condition but some areas are in poor shape, very broken up,” Weiss said.

Dig-outs are being done on the northbound lanes before crews shift to the southbound lanes, and a similar sequence will be used for the paving process.

Repairs will take place 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday to reduce traffic congestion. Weiss said traffic in the area “dies down significantly” after 7 p.m. and is usually kept to a minimum until 7 a.m.

One-way traffic control will be implemented, which means drivers in each direction will need to take turns proceeding.

A pilot car will be used to guide motorists when it’s their turn to proceed.

Lane closures will cover about a half-mile and travelers who encounter road work may be delayed for five to 10 minutes during peak times, like around 8 p.m., Weiss said.

The project is covered by funds from the Senate Bill 1 Road Repair and Accountability Act, which was signed into law in 2017.

That funding also is covering at least one other ongoing Sonoma County road project.

This week, crews began a paving project on portions of Highway 128 in Cloverdale and Geyserville.

Construction costs about $1.8 million and is scheduled to last through August.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

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