With road construction season now in full swing, it’s not surprising to see work crews with the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works busily repaving road segments throughout the county, which boasts the largest road network in the Bay Area. And while repaving our roads is top of mind, road maintenance crews also continue undeterred in their progress on roadside mowing and clearing drainages, fixing potholes, repairing guardrails and road signs and restriping and stenciling roadways.
Closer to home on Fitch Mountain here in Healdsburg, locals know that our county crews respond in short order to resident requests, whether for new striping and stenciling at Redwood Drive, pothole fixes on Shady Drive and Riverview Drive, or roadside vegetation abatement in partnership with CalFire and Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps.
Residents may also be aware of two 2017 flood disaster sites on Fitch Mountain Road — informally dubbed “The Slump” and “The Slide” — that are notorious for their determination to subsist despite feats of engineering and temporary repairs. These are Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) projects, with funding managed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). County officials continue to work with our partner agencies on permanent repair of these nagging trouble spots, with preliminary engineering and geotechnical design underway, and construction expected to take place in late 2021 or early 2022.
In addition to this important work, there are 10 culverts planned for replacement, two culverts to clean and substantial road repaving work expected for both North and South Fitch Mountain Roads. My hope and expectation — providing for weather factors, fire seasons, and road closures — is to see seven culverts replaced on South Fitch Mountain Road as part of the 2021 Pavement Preservation Program. The three remaining culverts and paving on North Fitch Mountain Road could also happen in late 2021 or early 2022.
As always, I want residents on Fitch Mountain and throughout the Healdsburg area to know that county road crews are working every day to improve our quality of life. Although it is often taken for granted that garbage will be picked up, drinking water will be clean, and roads will be maintained, residents benefit each day from the public good provided by the county’s transportation and public works department. In fact, the health and wellbeing of our shared communities depends on it.
James Gore is the Fourth District Sonoma County Supervisor.