Redwood Landfill Hwy 101 overpass to finish in 1 year
- Published Monday, March 29, 2004, in the Marin Independent Journal
Overpass at Redwood Landfill is expected to be finished in a year
By Mark Prado
A year from now, work on an overpass traversing a dangerous section
of Highway 101 north of Novato should be just about done.
For decades, trucks leaving and entering the Redwood Landfill have
crossed Highway 101, mixing with drivers cruising at freeway speeds.
Now Waste Management Inc., which runs the Redwood Landfill, will
spend $7.2 million to make the area safer by building an 1812 foot-
high overpass as part of a 1994 agreement for expansion of the dump.
"It can be pretty hairy there," said Glen Roycroft, Waste
Management's engineer and manager of the project.
Roycroft lives in Greenbrae and doesn't dare cross the highway to get
to southbound Highway 101 during commute hours.
"There is no way, the traffic is just way too thick. I have to go
north to San Antonio (Road)," he said.
If Roycroft is coming south during heavy traffic and needs to get to
the landfill, he drives all the way down to Atherton Avenue in Novato
and doubles back, rather than cross Highway 101.
The California Department of Transportation is providing oversight
for the project, but work will be done by a contractor hired by Waste
"We are glad to see the work done," said Bob Haus, Caltrans
spokesman. "Having traffic cross a major highway is not an optimum
The area has been the scene of many accidents; in recent years 30
accidents, resulting in one fatality and at least 12 injuries, have
been tallied. But state figures show it is not more dangerous than
Work on the overpass is set to begin in August if all goes to plan,
with construction finishing next April or May, Roycroft said.
The overpass will allow southbound and northbound trucks to exit the
freeway and get to the landfill without crossing the median. Although
not intended for public use, officials expect some people will use
the overpass to switch directions. But the overpass will be open only
during landfill business hours -- 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lanes for trucks to gain speed to get on and off the freeway will be
part of the project, adding to safety, Roycroft said.
Work on the project will require some movement of lanes on Highway
101, but delays are expected to be minimal. Some work will require
the closure of lanes, but that will occur in the middle of the night,
The landfill opened in 1958, and concerns about the intersection have
grown as traffic has increased over the years. About 80,000 motorists
a day drive by the Highway 101 crossing at the Redwood Landfill,
"Back in the 1950s it may have not been a problem, but with all the
traffic, now it is," Haus said.
Contact Mark Prado via e-mail at mprado@...