Tuesday, January 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Highway 12 project nears milestone

hwy 12_widening 4_7_14

The Napa County portion of Highway 12, through Jameson Canyon is complete with four-lanes, two lanes going each direction and a concrete median barrier in the center. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | April 09, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Highway 12 through Jameson Canyon has two different looks as the state continues its drive to turn a two-lane, narrow road into a four-lane, modern highway.

The 3-mile Solano County portion from Interstate 80 to the Solano/Napa border remains a two-lane construction zone. Crews are still working on a retaining wall on the lower part of a hill that they’ve carved out to make room for a wider roadway.

But the 3-mile Napa County portion from the Solano/Napa border to Highway 29 is a different story. It has been transformed into a four-lane road, with two lanes going each direction and a concrete median barrier in the center. Shoulders include bike lanes.

This is the look of the future Highway 12.

“The Napa side looks like it’s done, but it’s almost done, it’s not completely done,” state Department of Transportation spokesman Vince Jacala said.

For example, Caltrans still has a list of things to go over with the contractor, he said.

That point got proven Monday and Tuesday, when orange cones blocked off sections of an eastbound lane and a westbound lane.

Drivers for the previous two weeks experienced a road that has four lanes and all of the striping in place. Two years of work that have sometimes left traffic at a crawl at least has the appearance of being finished along the Napa County portion.

This milestone on the Highway 12 project happened without fanfare. One day in late March, drivers were restricted to two lanes in Napa County. Then the orange traffic cones were removed and all four lanes were open.

Geoffrey Wilcox commutes on Highway 12 from Green Valley to Napa’s airport area. He sees a difference in traffic flow on the four-lane Napa County portion.

“It really does in the morning open up,” Wilcox said. “The only problem is we’ve had three or four years of pent-up frustration and some of those drivers are really driving that thing fast.”

He goes in the slow lane at the posted speed limit of 45 mph, he said. People pass him in the fast lane at 65 mph.

But Meredith McKown’s afternoon commute from Napa back to Fairfield remains slow. Traffic still slows as it nears the Solano/Napa line and the two eastbound lanes merge back into one eastbound lane.

“Until that bottleneck is gone, it’s not going to make a really significant difference,” she said.

Tuesday afternoon in particular, traffic was at a crawl for miles on eastbound Highway 12.

But she likes what she sees on the Napa County side. She likes the median that separates motorists from oncoming traffic.

For now, with the Solano County side still a construction zone, McKown prefers to continue commuting on the back roads through Wooden Valley and avoiding Highway 12 altogether.

The Solano County portion of Highway 12 poses a bigger challenge for construction crews because of that hill that must be carved out. More paving and other work lies ahead in coming months.

Jacala said work on the Solano County portion could be finished in August. That would complete the entire four-lane, $130 million Highway 12 widening project.

Then Caltrans will have a ribbon cutting and the grand opening. Then the fanfare will begin.

Highway 12 in Jameson Canyon carries about 32,000 vehicles daily. It is a major link between Solano and Napa counties. Caltrans’ stated reasons for doing the widening project is to improve both traffic flow and safety.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • SixStrRzrApril 08, 2014 - 5:51 pm

    Unfortunately, it appears they invited everybody to the wedding reception before the tables were set up and the caterer arrived. The past few days, since Spring Break ended,traffic westbound in the morning and (particularly) eastbound in the afternoon has been, for lack of a better word, glacial. My "normal" (35 minutes for what should take 8) commute times have increased by 10 minutes since the "new lane" has been, uh, "opened". I was looking out the window during the grueling afternoon commute yesterday,and a dandelion "puff" literally passed my car. So, for know, it's no longer business as usual..it's business + 10-15 minutes....so what else is new?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Canyon of Chaos Commuter.April 08, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    It is interesting to see all the destruction they are doing to the section of road that looks pretty much done. They were cutting holes in the center divider a few weeks ago in kind of a V shape to install what looks like drain holes. A lot of cutting for the resulting small hole. Why was this not done when they made the divider. Now they have cut a trench in the cement area of the roadway. Wondering why. Not sure what that strip of concrete is for since it is mostly asphalt. I'm waiting to see if the metering lights will make all this construction worthless.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JayApril 08, 2014 - 11:40 pm

    What is going to happen eastbound when the road narrows down for the 80 overpass? A major bottleneck that has not been addressed!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • John AndersonApril 09, 2014 - 8:21 am

    Meanwhile, further to the East on SR12: The primitive, ancient, narrow, dangerous, substandard, and terribly dangerous and BUSY stretch across Bouldin Island just sits there, unimproved. CalTrans did a big, splashy photo-op kickoff for a "brand new divided road" there over a year ago. Yep, plenty of self-congratulations and high fives all around. Statements were made that the work would start in "Summer of 2013". Nothing happened. Then, new promises of a "Spring 2014 start" were made. Again- nothing has happened. Meanwhile, more deaths have occurred. ...And speaking of laffs- how about that harrowing last few miles leading into Rio Vista, past Trilogy? Isn't THAT a joke? -Yet CalTrans says they have NO plans to fix it. Go figure.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • IMHOApril 09, 2014 - 2:38 pm

    Not to mention all the standing water left by the rain. Who is going to have to pay to fix that? Bottle neck at 80 I agree. And lastly when driving east bound at night the oncoming traffics head lights blind me in two locations. I really want thi thing to sucees but it has a long way to go IMHO.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Vacaville council eyes earlier start time

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

 
.

US / World

Facebook suffers outage affecting users worldwide

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Private wells in California farm area show high uranium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California may dam 3 Delta channels, if drought persists

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Law enforcement wants popular police-tracking app disabled

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Gov’t to overhaul Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cuban youth build secret computer network despite Wi-Fi ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Seekers of the Hollywood Sign disrupt nearby neighborhood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
2 small planes crash-land off Hawaii; all aboard survive

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Report: State worker sent alarming notes before gun arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Panic attack, bad back: Theater shooting brings jury excuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict ‘sordid’ history of abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dwindling group of survivors to mark Auschwitz 70 years on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

New Jersey’s Christie launches political action committee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US drone strikes resume in Yemen despite turmoil

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Monster snowstorm swirls into densely populated Northeast US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Man takes responsibility for drone over White House

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

2 sides to state highways rehab backlog

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Jan. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Petty earns writing credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
National Cowboy Poetry Gathering begins in northeast Nevada

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Trainor and Styles write a duet about heartbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Emma Watson to star in live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
SAG Awards win sends ‘Birdman’ Oscar hopes soaring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Cumberbatch says sorry for calling black actors ‘colored’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
A murder at the edge of the world takes ‘Fortitude’ to crack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Lawyers: Melissa Rivers files lawsuit in mother Joan’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

TVGrid Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Sports

Manfred knows he’ll get hit as commish _ his name is on ball

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NASCAR to leave championship format unchanged in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Kobe Bryant to have shoulder surgery, likely out for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Tim Brown hopes 6th time is charm in Hall of Fame vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders sign Charles Woodson for 2015 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rams notify St. Louis they’ll go year-to-year on dome lease

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Gamecocks still No. 1; Chattanooga joins women’s hoops poll

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Scott Dixon shines in masterful final drive in Rolex win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
LeBron, Cavs climb in standings, back in title conversation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Capitals among East contenders; West race too tight to call

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Playoff not interested in moving semis of New Year’s Eve

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fireworks help celebrate Venus Williams’ Australian Open run

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
US women to host New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, South Korea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

NBA D-League All-Star events set for Feb. 15 in Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
AP Source: Los Angeles Kings release Mike Richards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hope Solo could be left off US World Cup roster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Employers: Agreement made on key issue in port labor dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Lyft cars doing away with pink furry mustache

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Hard Rock (again) dips toe into Atlantic City casino market

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

US stock market finishes with small gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
IBM disputes report that big layoffs coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Union says California Kaiser nurses reach contract agreement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Boeing, SpaceX will beat Russia on price for astronaut rides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

CBO: Deficit to shrink to lowest level of Obama presidency

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Eurozone looks for dialogue after stunning Greece elections

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

S&P downgrades Russia credit rating to junk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Word Sleuth Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts Jan 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4