State Route 37 Transformation Builds Momentum With Expanded Partnership


New Leadership Structure Includes Tribes, Environmental Agencies and Federal and State Leaders

NORTH BAY – Building on significant progress and numerous milestones over the past year on State Route 37 (SR-37), several new agencies are joining the Resilient SR-37 partnership team to collaborate on near- and long-term solutions to transform the entire 21-mile corridor between U.S. 101 in Novato and Interstate 80 in Vallejo. Formalized at the multi-county SR-37 Policy Committee meeting today in Napa – which included virtual appearances by California’s secretaries of transportation and natural resources – the expanded partnership highlights the collaborative, multi-layered approach to creating a resilient, climate-friendly corridor.

In another important development, Caltrans today announced completion of the environmental documents needed to begin design work on the SR-37 Flood Reduction Project in Marin County. These milestones come on the heels of a busy 2023 that included securing new funding, completing key project studies and reports, and receiving tolling authority from the California Transportation Commission (CTC).

“We continue to gain momentum to transform SR-37 into a resilient, multimodal corridor focused on mobility, equity and the environment,” said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “Through this expanded partnership, we can help ensure those objectives come to fruition by collaborating directly with the local communities along with experts in resource management, science, and engineering. Working together, we will help this vital corridor, the communities it connects, and its surrounding ecosystems thrive for generations to come.”

One of the key new agencies entering the partnership is the California Natural Resource Agency. “We’re looking forward to a new level of partnership on reimagining SR-37 that elevates our ambition on climate resiliency and restores critical bay habitat,” said Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot. “This corridor can be a national model for climate resilient transportation infrastructure and we’re continuing to pursue federal funding to accelerate this important work.”

Current partners are excited to see momentum building on the SR-37 Corridor.

“Bringing new organizations into the partnership will help ensure that we meet our environmental and equity goals while also increasing mobility and reducing traffic congestion,” said Solano County Supervisor and SR-37 Policy Committee Chair Erin Hannigan. “We are working on an organizational structure that will include other resource agencies and North Bay tribes. This more inclusive team will promote accountability to all the affected communities along the corridor.”

The Resilient SR-37 Partnership agencies — which include Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Transportation Authority of Marin, Napa Valley Transportation Authority, Solano Transportation Authority, Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) — look to work closely with colleagues from the United States (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the California Natural Resource Agency, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Board and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, as well as the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

The Resilient SR-37 Partnership agencies last year secured $205 million in funding for key projects along the corridor. This includes $155 million from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and $50 million from the state Local Transportation Climate Adaption Program. Federal dollars will be used to replace Novato Creek Bridge with an elevated structure that will address projected sea-level rise for the next century. State money will help replace the Tolay Creek Bridge in Sonoma County and restore Strip Marsh East, a tidal marshland west of Mare Island in Vallejo. The partners continue to seek additional funding to deliver other planned corridor improvements and environmental enhancements.

The following is a list of accomplishments in 2023 as well as a look at what is ahead for SR-37 this year:

2023 Highlights and Accomplishments

  • Near-term Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project
    • Completion of the Final Environmental Impact Report
    • Secured $50 million LTCAP Grant for near-term transportation resilience
    • Received authority to toll the route from CTC
  • Long-term Flood Reduction Project (Hwy 101 to Atherton)
    • Released Draft Environmental Impact Report
    • $155M for Novato Creek Bridge
  •  Fairgrounds Drive Intersection Improvement Project fully funded
    • Started the Project Initiation Document phase
    • Planning study initiated for passenger rail between Novato and Suisun
  • Novato Creek Baylands Strategy
    • Initiated the effort
    • $400K to develop the strategy
  • North Baylands Regional Conservation Investment Strategy (RCIS)
    • Released draft conservation strategy
  • SR 37 Partnership
    • Completed SR 37 Partnership Agreement
    • Developed expanded organization to deliver upon commitments
    • Expanded Tribal engagement
  • Public Engagement

2024 Look Ahead

  • Near-term Sears Point to Mare Island Improvement Project
    • Complete Tolay Creek Bridge and Strip Marsh East environmental analysis
    • Obtain Contract Manager/General Contractor
    • Apply for state and federal funding
  • Long-term Flood Reduction Project (Hwy 101 to Atherton)
    • Finalize EIR/EA
    • Begin Final design and permitting phase
  • SR 37 Rail
    • Draft & Final Rail Study
  • Novato Creek Baylands Strategy
    • Develop draft strategy
  • North Bay Baylands RCIS
    • Finalize RCIS
  • Expanded Partnership structure implemented

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