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Published on May 24, 2024
Santa Rosa Drivers Alert: Traffic Changes Ahead as Caltrans Begins Hearn Ave Overcrossing WorkSource: Caltrans

Starting next Wednesday, motorists can expect lane closures at Hearn Avenue and Corby Avenue intersection, which will directly impact the morning rush hour routine. Westbound Hearn Avenue will lose its dedicated turn lane to northbound Corby Avenue. Similarly, southbound Corby will see its left turn pocket and eastbound Hearn closed off, according to Caltrans.

This construction, projected to last nine months, is a part of the broader Hwy 101/Hearn Avenue Overcrossing Replacement Project. During this time, the single westbound lane on Hearn Avenue will accommodate right turns, left turns, and straight-on traffic. Hence, delays are to be expected as the roadway capacity diminishes. Westbound commuters should add extra travel time to avoid lateness, frustration headaches, and related start-of-day woes; the left turn pocket will be notably absent on southbound Corby Avenue, making a solitary lane responsible for directing the flow of vehicles turning either direction or pushing onward on Corby, advises Caltrans.

Not merely a traffic hiccup, the $43.7 million overhaul of the Hearn Avenue Overcrossing is an investment into the future of Santa Rosa's transportation infrastructure. Featuring two lanes in each direction, sidewalks, and Class 4 bike lanes, the project elevates standards for congestion management and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists alike. It's a tangible embodiment of Caltrans' commitment to Complete Streets, where road projects are tailored to accommodate various modes of travel when practical.

The expansive vision for this project took root in the 1990s. It only materialized after Sonoma County voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax with Measure M in 2004, followed by Go Sonoma in 2020 to secure federal funds for critical transport developments. The resulting financial partnership has pooled funds from multiple sources—$17.2 million through Measure M, a $9.4 million slice from the City of Santa Rosa, and a sizable $17 million injected by state funds, including contributions through senate bills and the State Transportation Improvement Program.

Projected for completion in late 2025, the new Hearn Avenue Overcrossing will comply with the most recent regulations, allowing taller vehicles to navigate beneath it with ease. This will improve the flow and functionality of a key infrastructure piece in southern Santa Rosa.