NOVATO (KPIX 5) — Drivers may soon be paying a toll to drive on Highway 37 in the North Bay, that’s according to transportation officials in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solono counties.
The four counties joined forces to analyze what to do with the troubled and highly trafficked corridor.
During the winter of 2017 Highway 37 in Novato closed from flooding for up to a week each time the North Bay experienced heavy rain.
A study by University of California at Davis projects Highway 37 will be 6 feet under water by 2050.
Transportation officials hired an outside consulting group, Project Finance Advisory Limited, to propose toll plans.
Consultants suggest building either a toll road or a toll bridge.
The least expensive scenario has drivers paying $3 each way, the most expensive has drivers paying $7 each direction.
Revenue collected from the tolls is projected to total anywhere from $300 million to $12.5 billion over 50 years.
“If we want to build the project in our lifetime tolls are inevitable,” Nick Nguyen with the Transportation Authority of Marin says. He reiterated multiple times “right now we don’t have a hard grasp of what the tolling situation will look like.”
“$7 is a lot, I recognize that,” Marin County Supervisor Judy Arnold said. “We’re under pressure because we don’t want another winter in 2018 like there was in 2017,” she added.
Arnold hopes to have a proposal on the table in eight months. Nguyen says it could take up to a year.
Public comment will take place in all four affected counties in the next two months.
Highway 37 improvement plan meetings:
Novato- Wednesday, September 20th
6pm-8pm at The Key Room
1385 Hamilton Parkway, Novato
American Canyon – Wednesday, September 27th
6pm-8pm at the American Canyon Council Chambers
4381 Broadway Street, American Canyon
Sonoma – Thursday, September 28th
6pm-8pm at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building
126 First Street West, Sonoma
Vallejo – Monday, October 2nd
6pm-8pm at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
734 Marin Street, Vallejo