AWARD WINNER The roundabout in Windsor at the Windsor/Windsor River Road Intersection won a national award from the American Council of Engineering Contractors (ACEC), in part for its incorporation of a railroad line through the middle of the traffic circle.

Even as Healdsburg was deciding that the SMART station would be located on the south side of the city’s roundabout, the town of Windsor was declared a winner in a national engineering awards competition for its own roundabout bisected by the SMART rail.

The American Council of Engineering Contractors (ACEC) Awards are “an annual celebration of engineering excellence, honoring projects worldwide that demonstrate innovation, creative problem-solving, and engineering’s unique ability to improve our world,” according to their own messaging.

“The project showcases the successful integration of efficient planning, advanced technology, modern roundabout design, and environmental consciousness in infrastructure development,” according to the ACEC citation that named the Windsor roundabout the competition’s award winner.

The awards will be presented at a black-tie event in Washington, D.C., on May 15. It brings national attention for the Windsor/Windsor River Road Intersection Improvement and Multi-Use Path Connector Project. Public Works Director Shannon Cotulla will be in attendance, representing Windsor.

The town of Windsor is this year’s overall winner, recognized for an innovative intersection improvement and multi-use pathway connector project that created a safer active transportation infrastructure for vehicles and pedestrians alike.

“There was extraordinary collaboration between the Town, contractor (Ghilotti Construction Company), designers (GHD and WRT), construction management firm (Green Valley Consulting), SMART, and utility companies to complete the project and resolve unexpected issues that arose during construction,” said Jon Davis, the town manager.

(Unlike Healdsburg, which is incorporated as a city, Windsor was incorporated as a town in 1992. Other towns include Corte Madera, Danville, Fairfax, Los Gatos, San Anselmo and Yountville.)

READY TO RAIL Gene Amato Masonry finishes work on the SMART rail crossing at Windsor Road’s roundabout, with the town depot in the background. Photo from February, 2023. (Christian Kallen)

This intersection is a gateway to downtown Windsor and adjacent to the SMART station, which  is expected to open for service in spring 2025. It is one of only seven roundabouts in the U.S. with a railroad track running through it—a number that may someday include Healdsburg, once the SMART rail gets the green light to continue north to Cloverdale.

The continuation of the SMART service to Healdsburg is not expected until 2027, if then. The location of the SMART station was confirmed as the old depot on Harmon Street just last month; had a downtown location been selected, the trains would have begun passing through the roundabout when service begins.

“The installation of roundabouts is intended to reduce and calm traffic while improving traffic flow by encouraging lower vehicle speeds,” Davis said. “This in turn lowers the risk of collisions and makes it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Research shows a reduction of 72%-80% of injury crashes at intersections converted to roundabouts.

As reported in the Press Democrat, the same intersection recently won a state honor too, being named the overall winner in the Outstanding Local Streets and Roads Project awards, sponsored by the League of California Cities, County Engineers Association of California, and California State Association of Counties.

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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.


  1. Maybe, if and when the SMART train, or any other train, goes through the Windsor Award-winning roundabout and a train hits a car and kills someone, the City of Windsor can give the grieving family the ACEC Award as a consolation prize.
    timmy taes

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