Sen. Dodd Introduces Hwy. 37 Improvement and Resiliency Bills
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced legislation today to ease congestion along Highway 37 and protect it from sea-level rise by authorizing a toll to pay for critical improvements and by tapping roughly $2 billion in federal infrastructure funding.
“Congestion and seasonal flooding are already unbearable for commuters and it will only get worse, with the highway projected to be underwater in 20 years,” Sen. Dodd said. “We must take action if we want to preserve this vital link to jobs and family. This legislation creates a dedicated funding stream and leverages federal dollars, which is the only way we can afford these critical improvements that will keep this artery working, while reducing daily commute times.”
For years, traffic jams and seasonal flooding have plagued the 21-mile Highway 37, which runs from Interstate 80 to Highway 101, connecting Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties. Caltrans recently estimated that because of climate change, the section along San Pablo Bay could be fully immersed within 20 years, cutting off a regional artery serving 40,000 motorists a day. Transportation planners are identifying solutions, including building a raised causeway that would cost billions of dollars.
In response, Sen. Dodd introduced two bills today. The first, Senate Bill 1050, authorizes creation of a toll between Mare Island and Sears Point. The revenue would finance construction costs and environmental remediation, and it could be used to leverage state and federal funding. The second bill, SB 1049, directs $1.9 billion in federal infrastructure funds to climate-adaptive transit projects including along Highway 37.
A prior version of the legislation was introduced in 2020 but withdrawn because of the pandemic. Senator Dodd’s proposals have broad support from community leaders, environmental organizations, business groups and regional transportation officials.
“I appreciate Sen. Dodd's proposal to improve Highway 37, which is a vital route for area commuters, and to address threats caused by climate change,” said Alfredo Pedroza, a Napa County supervisor and chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “Federal infrastructure funding is key to ensuring we meet the transportation needs of today and those of future generations.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.