NOVATO (CBS SF) — For a second time in a month, flood waters shut down travel on Highway 37 between Novato and Vallejo, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A big rig carrying lumber that attempted to make its way through the flood waters but stalled amid waste deep water on the roadside. The CHP said it may be several days before the roadway can be reopened.
In a facebook post, CHP Marin said: Due to the unprecedented amount of rain we’ve gotten this month, water is continuing to spill OVER the banks of Novato Creek and onto the roadway.”
CHP Marin announced that eastbound lanes of the highway had reopened shortly before 4 p.m., but westbound lanes were still closed with no projected time to reopen.
Earlier this month, heavy rains battered the North Bay causing a levee near the highway to give way. About 650 million gallons of water from the Novato Creek and the San Francisco Bay filled nearby fields, eventually coming up over the highway’s westbound lanes.
Heavy equipment operators brought in hundreds of tons of boulders and dirt to build a makeshift dam near the roadway. Crews also lined the roadway with k-rails, draping them with plastic, and sealing the wall with dirt.
While the work was underway, drivers worked their way around it.
“About 10 extra minutes, something like that,” said one driver told KPIX 5 as they waited in the backup.
The detour on Atherton Avenue was often a 15-minute crawl through the southern end of Novato during the shut down earlier this month.
“This is a county road that is definitely not used to freeway level traffic and speeds that come with it. These people are used to commuting on a highway and now they’re commuting through a neighborhood,” said Sgt. Ross Ingels of the California Highway Patrol.