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News Release —
Bolinas Road Repair Expected to Begin in July

Road access limited to a single lane for duration of three-month project
A closeup view of the pavement on Bolinas Road at milepost 1.
 May 30, 2024

Body of News Release

San Rafael, CA – On June 4, the Marin County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will consider moving forward with the next effort in a series of projects to repair existing roadway damage and improve the overall condition and resiliency of Bolinas Road, located outside of Fairfax. The road is the sole route for hundreds of homes and provides critical access for wildland firefighting, as well as a Marin Water treatment facility that provides drinking water for approximately 191,000 community members.  

Pending BOS approval, the proposed project would repair damages to a section of Bolinas Road in the vicinity of milepost 1.0, approximately 300 feet south of Fawn Ridge Road and just over a mile from downtown Fairfax. The proposed project could begin as soon as late July and take approximately four months to complete. The repair work is estimated to cost $2.4 million and up to 88% is expected to be reimbursed by a Federal Highway Administration grant.

The March 2023 storms triggered multiple landslides and roadway damage along Bolinas Road. The damaged locations have been receiving repairs in order of urgency. The most recently completed project wrapped up this past November, repairing a significant slide at milepost 1.34

The proposed project at milepost 1.0 plans to add a 175-foot-long retaining wall to the downhill side of the roadway, as well as reinforcing the existing adjacent retaining wall with new anchors. Construction work hours are planned for weekdays from 8 AM to 6 PM with traffic control measures in place. For much of the duration of the project, traffic would flow through a single lane with alternating two-way traffic. Weekend work may be permitted as necessary and would be announced in advance to minimize inconvenience to travelers. Drivers and cyclists are required by law to adhere to all roadway laws, which includes following the construction signage and traffic control measures.

Traffic delays will be limited to no more than seven minutes. It is expected that some construction activities will require short duration road closures of approximately four-hour intervals. Such instances would be coordinated with emergency services agencies, as well as announced to the public via the project website, DPW’s Facebook and X/Twitter accounts, and targeted notifications to directly impacted residents. Active emergency services vehicles are always granted immediate access. 

The long-term solution for Bolinas Road seeks to proactively fix and stabilize a 6.5 mile stretch of the roadway. That work is estimated at $30 million and is a joint undertaking with Town of Fairfax. In a collaborative effort, the two agencies are currently seeking federal funding for the $30 million needed to accomplish the project. In February 2024, Congressman Jared Huffman inspected the stretch of road with DPW and Town of Fairfax staff and he is helping pursue the funding.

However, the long-term solution will take time to design and implement, and some damaged locations cannot wait, such as the proposed retaining wall at milepost 1.0. In the interim, DPW staff are diligently monitoring the damaged locations and proactively addressing them as needed to ensure public safety. 

For example, Bolinas Road has been fully closed since May 29 from Azalea Hill to Ridgecrest, a much more rural section of the road with limited residential traffic and little through traffic. The closure will be in place for approximately three weeks, after which the roadway will operate on single-lane access as the retaining wall is constructed at milepost 5.73. The duration of the project is still unknown and will not be clear until additional drilling has been conducted during the full closure phase. During both the full closure and single-lane phases, active emergency service vehicles will be granted access at all times, as will Marin Water work vehicles.

The Town of Fairfax, Marin Water, and DPW are collaborating on the considerable undertaking to make a substantial improvement to Bolinas Road as a whole. The partnering agencies would like to thank residents and travelers in the area for their patience and understanding while these important repair projects are conducted.


Page updated May 30, 2024