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Incident underscores need for Asti crossing

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 | Posted by

Increasing regulations designed to protect endangered and threatened salmon species tend to delay when the bridge goes in each year. (Christa Jeremiason / PD)

Shortly before 7:45 p.m. Tuesday night, a vehicle hit a power pole near the First Street Bridge, knocking out power to about 40 customers and shutting the bridge to traffic in both directions for a number of hours.

According to the PG&E website, power was not expected to be restored until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

In the meantime, residents who live on the east side of the river either had to drive five miles up the highway to Geysers Road before circling back to get home, or they had to go south and use the Asti Summer Crossing, which, fortunately, is still open.

This incident underscores why residents in the River Road / Palomino Lakes area are so concerned about getting the county to make the Asti crossing a permanent one instead of one that is only open from late Spring to early November.

Having to drive into Cloverdale and circle back adds time and mileage to their commute and creates safety concerns, as well. Not only does this make it more difficult for emergency vehicles to get in, having only one way out creates a precarious situation for residents trying to get out in the event of fire or other emergency.

Cloverdale Fire Chief Jason Jenkins has said the Asti bridge enhances his department’s ability to provide protection to a large populated area, noting it can take up to 15 minutes longer for an ambulance or neighboring fire department to respond to an emergency otherwise.

Supervisor Mike McGuire has said the county’s precarious financial condition and the drying up of government grants for such projects makes a solution tricky.

McGuire is hosting a Town Hall Meeting to discuss extending the Asti Summer Crossing next Monday, Oct. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Cloverdale Fire Station, 451 S. Cloverdale Blvd.

The outcome of an unofficial special election and other information on the potential extension of the Asti Summer Crossing Season will be the focus.

For more information or to RSVP, call 565-3758 or email jennykidd@sonoma-county.org.

  • gleaninggirl

    “Supervisor Mike McGuire has said the county’s precarious financial condition and the drying up of government grants for such projects makes a solution tricky”

    Not just tricky, but VERY expensive, in the form of an assessment borne soley by the property owners along River Road and the streets that connect with it!

  • Nancy Turpen Lucas

    Everyone, please go to this meeting. I went to the first one, and though I no longer live in Cloverdale, the importance to EVERYONE cannot be understated. If you consider yourself in “the know”, there are important decisions being made and your voice could be the one to make it happen, discussion is never a bad thing.

  • Nancy S

    As regular visitors to the Asti Summer Bridge and a lifetime Sonoma County resident, I’m wondering how it will fare when the Russian River rises in the Winter? Wouldn’t a regular bridge have to be built to address high water & erosion? During floods, would it create a dam that backs water up in the upstream valleys? There’s another Summer Bridge on the river down by Korbel at Odd Fellow’s Junction. Don’t remember if there are additional Summer Bridges. They must be covering this stuff at the Town Hall Meeting with Mike McGuire noted in the article.

  • Skippy

    An issue unaddressed is the shamefully poor condition of the Asti/First St intersection.
    Badly lit, no stop-ahead warnings, no curb-blocks to protect Asti drivers after they obey the stop sign, short sight distance to detect fools speeding west across the river into town.
    Let’s be honest; if the portion of Cloverdale east of 101 were swept away in a flood, the City Council wouldn’t notice for 6 months.
    I heard this wreck as it happened. It was completely predictable and preventable.
    It is long past time for the Council to recognize and embrace that tiny portion of our city sliced off when the freeway came through in 1994.

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Mary Jo Winter is our Cloverdale correspondent.
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