Westbound lanes of Highway 37 reopened near Novato

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The westbound lanes of Highway 37 near Novato were reopened Saturday afternoon, ending a three-day partial closure of the flooded commuter artery.

The reopening, announced by Caltrans at around 3:30 p.m., came ahead of earlier estimates by officials with the transportation agency, who previously said the westbound lanes on the highway likely wouldn’t reopen until early next week, or possibly later.

Officials explained crews were using motorized pumps to remove floodwater as quickly as possible from the westbound span of the highway between Atherton Avenue and Highway 101.

A strong storm that rolled into the North Bay beginning Monday was blamed for the flooding on the roadway. By Wednesday afternoon, traffic in both directions was halted by runoff, though the eastbound lanes were reopened hours later.

Last month, storm-related flooding led to a six-day closure of the westbound lanes. Crews worked around the clock to make repairs to a breached levee on Novato Creek that factored in the flooding. The work cost nearly $2 million.

The same levee was affected in a different spot by the latest storm.

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nashellytweets.

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