Highway 12 widening project breaks ground

A groundbreaking ceremony was scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Reata Winery in Napa to mark the start of the project, which will turn the two-lane highway, known as Jameson Canyon Road, into a four-lane corridor with a median barrier, according to Daryl Halls, executive director of the Solano Transportation Authority.

The 5.7-mile stretch of Highway 12 between state Highway 29 and Interstate Highway 80 has become a collision hotspot with increasing congestion during commute hours, Halls said.

The barrier aims to prevent head-on crashes, and the widening is meant to increase safety on the "kind of narrow, somewhat unsafe" two-lane highway, which has stretches that are steep and windy, according to Halls.

Funding for the $115 million project has come from Napa and Solano counties, the state and the federal government.

The office of Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield, who was scheduled to attend this morning's groundbreaking, said $7.8 million in federal funds has pushed the project along.

During construction on both the flatter Napa County side and the steeper Solano County section, two lanes will remain open for the 40,000 average daily drivers on the highway, Halls said.

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