Highway 37 flood repairs to be tested by upcoming storm

In the North Bay, people are bracing for the very bad weather that looks to hit Monday and Tuesday, especially in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties. 

With from two to eight inches of water coming Monday and Tuesday in the North Bay, where the worst of it comes will likely pay the highest price in danger damage. Much of what happens on Highway 37 next week depends on the work done this week to the levee that broke and the road that flooded.

Crews are still finishing work on the levee repairs that led to the flooding of Highway 37.

The equivalent of giant white sand bags have been placed closest to the road, providing, it is hoped, a water tight seal to wind driven waves and rain expected next week.

Large rocks, called rip rap, have been placed on either side of a water receptacle called a coffer dam to resist, and if necessary, store the water if it rises.

Meanwhile, last week and the first part of this week, work on Highway 37 has progressed that the road was fully opened to traffic. The lowest lying stretch of the road was paved six inches higher to minimize flooding. In certain areas, concrete barriers line and protect the road from water encroachment.

Caltrans would not answer whether its work here is enough to weather the storm or it is satisfied that the levee repair will hold. This is significant because we know there were plenty of knowledgeable public information officers on hand Friday to answer questions and concerns. So, it's a situation of wait and see if water, time and tides will overcome these defenses.