Closed road signs
STILL CLOSED Washington School Road at Asti Road just south of Cloverdale remained closed to traffic as of June 15.

Even as work proceeds through the end of the month to reopen the seasonal span over the Russian River near the community of Asti—the so-called Asti Summer Crossing—the County of Sonoma is finalizing preparations to turn the crossing into a permanent one.

“A Permanent Asti Bridge will provide an additional, reliable, year-round egress, particularly during disaster emergencies, which are an increasingly frequent threat,” stated the County’s Road Projects division, part of what’s now called Sonoma Public Infrastructure (formerly TPW, or Transportation and Public Works).

The total estimated project cost is $20 million, and the County of Sonoma proposes to fund $16 million of the total amount. “Property owners may be required to fund up to $4 million of project costs, depending on any grants that may be available,” the County said, suggesting a property tax or levy might be applied.

“Several options are in play in order to get that money, including the determination of a Bridge Assessment District in which that money will be collected via a property tax over a period of time,” said Kasey Williams of the Public Infrastructure. “That being said, nothing is set in stone just yet and we’re looking at all options, including additional grant money.”

The recently completed Environmental Impact Study found no significant mitigation was required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the findings were posted for public comment on May 29, when a 30-day period opened for review and any written objection.

If none is received, the mitigated negative declaration will go to the Board of Supervisors for final approval of the project, most likely sometime in August. However, said Williams, it’s unlikely that the permanent crossing will be built prior to the summer of 2025, when another temporary span is probable.

Construction of the temporary crossing began on Monday, June 10, and is now expected to be completed before the 4th of July holiday. After it’s constructed, it’s typically open for three months before being closed to again allow the Russian River to flow freely for the winter months.

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Christian Kallen has called Healdsburg home for over 30 years. A former travel writer and web producer, he has worked with Microsoft, Yahoo, MSNBC and other media companies, usually in an editorial capacity. He started reporting locally in 2008, moving from Patch to the Sonoma Index-Tribune to the Kenwood Press before joining the Healdsburg Tribune in 2022.


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