Mill Valley, CA – The Mill Valley City Council announced today that the California Transportation Commission has budgeted for a project which should reduce congestion leading to the 101 freeway from both Mill Valley and the Tiburon Peninsula. The project creates a two-lane northbound on-ramp to highway 101 at Tiburon Boulevard with related access improvements. The project will allow traffic from the Strawberry area to progress onto the expanded Highway 101 northbound freeway on-ramp quicker, freeing up time for improved East/West traffic. Caltrans noted in an October report to the Transportation Authority of Marin that project construction is estimated to begin in the Spring of 2019.
Councilmember John McCauley noted, that “it has been very heartening to see so many local leaders come together to address this complex interjurisdictional issue over the last 18 months.” He added we “want to thank Caltrans for listening to the City’s carefully-considered ideas and solutions to create practical and realistic improvements for the community’s traffic congestion. By taking a lead role on the project, Caltrans has given us hope that a solution is imminent, subject to the uncertainty that always exists as projects move from design, to bid to construction.”
Mill Valley officials recognize traffic congestion as one of the toughest and most impactful issues facing the community. Over the past few years the City has worked tirelessly with outside agencies such as Senator McGuire’s office, Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol, the Transportation Authority of Marin, the County of Marin, the City of Belvedere, and the Town of Tiburon on the issue and developed many action items to improve the flow of traffic around the US 101 interchange. The Mill Valley City Council would like to especially thank Supervisor Kate Sears for her consistent leadership and sponsorship of the working group.
Leading the charge, Councilmember McCauley and Mayor Moulton-Peters fought to make Mill Valley’s traffic reduction concerns heard and demands met for improved infrastructure.
The project will utilize design schematics conceptualized by Mill Valley officials and the other jurisdictions. The group determined that increasing the capacity of the Redwood Highway Frontage Road intersection to accommodate more vehicles, combined with widening the northbound 101 on-ramp and providing a westbound auxiliary lane in advance of the on-ramp will address the congested east-west traffic conditions in the most cost effective manner. The plan also significantly increases bicycle safety.
At its September 5, 2017 Regular City Council meeting, the Council authorized a Memorandum of Understanding with Marin County to jointly fund the development of a Permit Engineering Evaluation Report to study the desired improvements. Tiburon and Belvedere also agreed to assist in the funding. Since that meeting, Caltrans determined that the City’s proposed interchange improvements benefit and compliment their ramp widening/metering project and have taken it upon themselves to complete the plan; a development that significantly expedites project implementation and reduces the cost to the City of Mill Valley and other jurisdictions.