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Napa County has a road projects wish list | Local News

Napa County has a wish list of big road projects that goes far beyond Soscol Junction.

Plenty of proposals can be found in various Napa Valley Transportation Authority reports. The shortage isn’t in ideas, but in finding money to make those ideas a reality.

If funding is available, drivers — perhaps those of future generations, in some cases — could see these commute landscape changes:

Interchange for Highway 29 at Highway 12 and Airport Boulevard: This signalized intersection is a major traffic tie-up at a major crossroads. Napa Valley and Sonoma are to the north, with American Canyon and Vallejo to the south, Fairfield to the east and the airport industrial area to the west.

Plans call for removing the traffic signal, elevating Highway 29 and having two roundabouts underneath to regulate the on- and off-ramps, similar to the future Soscol Junction.

In addition, roundabouts would be built a short distance away at Highway 12 and South Kelly Road, and at Airport Boulevard and Devlin Road.

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— Highway 29 upgrades through American Canyon: These several miles through Napa County’s southern gateway can be a rush-hour crawl. Besides the sheer number of vehicles, there is a gauntlet of traffic signals.

One proposal is to remove many of those stoplights and create up to six roundabouts at major intersections. However, the American Canyon Road intersection would remain signalized.

Another idea to ease American Canyon traffic congestion is to create a parallel road east of Highway 29 by extending Newell Drive to South Kelly Road.

— Wine country roundabouts: Highway 29 traffic through the heart of wine country doesn’t stop at Rutherford Road or Oakville Cross Road. Users on the crossroads have talked about how difficult turning onto the highway can be, especially making left turns.

The proposed solution is to build a roundabout at each location. If all goes as planned, that could happen within a few years.

Also, a roundabout could replace the traffic signal at Highway 29 and Madison Street in Yountville. The signal causes traffic backups.

Napa County has a history of big road projects

Here’s a brief history of the big road projects that reshaped Napa County.

— Highway 29 at Trower Avenue: This signalized intersection is a traffic pinch point in the city of Napa.

The problem is twofold. Highway 29 traffic bottlenecks here during a red light. Also, cross-city drivers on Trower Avenue can wait as long as two minutes during a red light — and even longer if the Napa Valley Wine Train rolls by.

The proposed solution is to elevate Highway 29 over Trower Avenue, removing the traffic signal.

— Soscol Avenue near Imola Avenue: Soscol Avenue would be widened to six lanes from Magnolia Drive near Napa State Hospital past Imola Avenue to the Silverado Trail, a distance of more than a half-mile.

You can reach Barry Eberling at 707-256-2253 or [email protected]