Researchers are launching the next phase of a multiyear project that could elevate or reroute a flood-prone stretch of North San Pedro Road in San Rafael.
The project that began in 2017 focuses on the low-lying segment between the Santa Venetia neighborhood and Peacock Gap, cutting through China Camp State Park. The road provides an alternative north-south route to Highway 101 that emergency responders use to avoid highway traffic. However, the road’s proximity to tidal marshes to the northeast and the Gallinas Creek watershed to the west has resulted in frequent flooding during king tides and heavy storms.
The flooding is only expected to worsen with climate change through sea-level rise and more intense storms. “It’s been kind of a lingering issue for a long time,” said Stuart Siegel, interim director of the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, led by San Francisco State University.