Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA

City or County Responsible for Project: 

Sonoma County

Award Category: 

Efficient and Sustainable Road and Bridge Preservation, Maintenance and Construction and Reconstruction Projects

Narrative Description Of Your Entry: 

Arnold Drive pavement preservation began in late May 2015, and was completed in October. This project consisted of a road base repairs followed by a two-inch asphalt concrete overlay on 0.91 miles of road, with an average daily volume of over 4,000 vehicles. This section of Arnold Drive stretches from Highway 12 to the Sonoma Creek Bridge, through downtown Glen Ellen, a bright and historically relevant area of Sonoma County. In downtown Glen Ellen the project included significant improvements to pedestrian features, including ADA compliant curb ramps, sidewalks and pedestrian railings.  Arnold Drive is classified by the Federal Highway Administration as a Major Collector, meaning it carries high average daily traffic volumes. Before the roadwork on Arnold Drive the average PCI was 44, with the improvements the PCI is now 100. In the Sonoma County road network Major Collectors are normally in good condition, with an average Pavement Condition Index (PCI) 0f 66.  Glen Ellen consists of an active and walkable downtown, and is popular with local residents and visitors, both of which are essential to the local economy. The area boasts numerous shops, restaurants, boutique hotels and inns, and historical attractions such as the Jack London Lodge. The improvements to the road included new bike lanes on large sections of Arnold Drive, and enhanced mobility for vehicles and pedestrians around downtown Glenn Ellen. New sidewalk frontages and railings on the downtown buildings increased access for all users. This project had several challenges, including providing ADA compliant access to existing buildings with raised sidewalks and the need for custom pedestrian railings. The project also maintained access for vehicles and passable areas for pedestrians to the shops, award-winning restaurants and attractions in the Glen Ellen area. Additionally, there were many unknown shallow utilities discovered in the roadway during construction, requiring the County’s design and construction team to revise the construction methods in a short amount of time.  Through early public outreach, the County was able to construct the project to the satisfaction of the various business owners by working with our contractor, Ghilotti Construction Company, to avoid their peak business activities. The Glen Ellen community welcomed the proposed improvements and became very supportive of the construction project upon learning that the County was willing to accommodate their concerns for their business operations.  The successful construction project outcome in a short time frame was due to flexibility and experience from the County’s design and construction staff to accommodate the field conditions, the help of a cooperative business community, supportive residents and an experienced contractor, who understood the importance of including the community’s concerns in their construction operations. 

Submitted by: 

Jennifer Larocque


Public Affairs Program Manager


Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works


2300 County Center Drive







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.