Highway 101 no longer divides the people of Santa Rosa. What was once a barrier between east and west is now a thriving throughway connecting communities and commerce.
The undercrossing improvements project at Sixth Street picked up where Caltrans left off when it ran out of funding after widening the 101. Harris & Associates helped revive the connectivity between east and west sections of the downtown area with construction management services that oversaw:
- Improving vehicular, bike and pedestrian traffic
- Minimizing the impact on property, residents and the neighborhood
- Protecting endangered species during construction
The undercrossing opened up the West End neighborhood, including the future SMART station and miles of creek trails. It also created a connection to myriad destinations, including the Saint Rose neighborhood, transit mall and downtown.
The $1.3 million project improvements included:
- New signals
- Wide sidewalks
- Decorative post lamps, landscaping and bike lanes in each direction
- Utility relocation
- Community outreach, including face-to-face meetings, changeable message signs and helping the disabled through construction zones
Despite the project's numerous challenges—including several abandoned utilities on site—Harris completed it without the need for a detour and finished two months ahead of schedule. Plus our planning saved the city more than $14,000 in construction management fees.
Beyond the Blueprints
Traffic improvements now give cars exiting the 101 more time and space to safely slow down before entering the neighborhood without backing up into the freeway.
And one more aspect of the project is worth noting: For years, the disconnected intersection had been a homeless encampment. Harris joined forces with Caltrans, CHP and the Conservation Corp for a successful relocation. We made sure all constituencies were properly represented in the process and ended up with a win-win for everyone in the area.