San Rafael, CA – An eight-mile section of Fairfax-Bolinas Road will reopen on Friday, November 18, after undergoing extensive repairs and safety improvements by Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW). The stretch of road between Ridgecrest Boulevard and the Meadow Club in Fairfax, a key artery for many West Marin residents, has been closed since March 2016 because of heavy mudslide damage.
Vertical pilings are shown being installed next to Fairfax-Bolinas Road near Fairfax.
The hilly, two-lane road was rendered unsafe after the March storms and required an extensive design process to determine the appropriate repairs and satisfy contracting and funding requirements. The presence of northern spotted owl nests in the vicinity further complicated the project by delaying the commencement of repair work until after the end of the owl’s nesting season in September.
Geotechnical experts and engineers determined the causes of the mudslides and developed the stabilization measures needed to prevent future slides along the stretch of road. The Marin County Board of Supervisors awarded the $305,692 construction contract to Engineered Soil Repairs of Walnut Creek and the project was completed on budget.
Two new retaining walls were built and an existing wall was lengthened by 28 feet. The walls were constructed with special anchors to provide support against the steep slope along the edge of the road. The new areas in front of the retaining walls have been paved, but widening the shoulders to add parking was not performed. The Marin Municipal Water District, which manages the trails in the area, discouraged that action because the area is already highly impacted by Cataract Falls Trailhead traffic and parking.
Finished just in time for rainy season, the improvements to Fairfax-Bolinas Road have created a safer route for Marin’s drivers and cyclists.
“After several months of construction in this remote area of the county, we are eager to re-open the road and re-establish access to Cataract Falls and the West Marin Coast,” said Ernest Klock, DPW Principal Civil Engineer.