Transportation

Napa County SR 29 roundabout plan receives $6 million from MTC

Above left, current conditions at SR 29 at Rutherford Road. Right, roundabouts in Napa, Burlingame, Tahoe City and Chico. Video: Mark Jones/MTC

MTC Commissioners approved $6 million this week as part of the Napa Valley Forward project for roundabouts along State Route 29 in Napa County as a way to improve safety and traffic flow. Roundabouts at Rutherford and Oakville roads along SR 29 are the initial focus.

After Wednesday's approval, MTC Chairman and Napa Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza said the roundabouts will greatly improve conditions. 

“Since my appointment to the MTC, my goal has been to bring additional regional resources to Napa County to improve mobility, address traffic and safety concerns, and improve Napa Valley’s economic and cultural vitality,” said Pedroza, MTC chairman. “Roundabouts at Rutherford and Oakville roads along SR 29 will do just that.”

Roundabouts can substantially reduce crashes that result in serious injury or death, while improving traffic flow, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Roundabouts can:

  • Improve safety
  • Promote lower speeds and traffic calming
  • Reduce conflict points
  • Lead to improved operational performance
  • Meet a wide range of traffic conditions because they are versatile in size, shape, and design.

In coordination with the Napa Valley Transportation Authority, MTC began studying different ways to improve traffic along SR 29 and mini-roundabouts were selected to be studied at Rutherford and Oakville roads due to the nominal cost, significant safety considerations, and smaller footprint required to construct the intersection improvements.  A Madison Avenue intersection improvement is also in preliminary design and the proposed design will be shared soon.  

To accelerate the process, Pedroza, NVTA and MTC staff met with property owners who would be directly impacted by the proposed roundabouts. Two follow up meetings were held – one with Oakville Winegrowers and one with businesses near Rutherford Road.  Additional public outreach to the broader community will begin in the fall of 2021.

Construction could begin as soon as October 2022, with work being completed in about two years.