What happened to the Interstate 80-San Pablo Dam Road project? Roadshow

Q: I have a couple of questions about the highway connections I use regularly. First up is the Interstate 80/San Pablo Dam Road connection. A couple of years ago plans for a major reconfiguration were announced, detour signs were posted, etc. But since then nothing has happened.

What gives? Was the project canceled?

Steve McLaughlin, Richmond

A: No, delayed, because there was a $65 million funding shortfall to complete the second phase of the interchange. Construction could start in 2022.

Q: My second question is about the interchange between I-680 and Highway 4. A huge amount of work has been done in this area, miles of new concrete poured, but for months I’ve seen hardly any work being done. Meanwhile, those nice, new wide lanes are still off-limits. Again, what’s going on?

Steve McLaughlin

A: Work has been delayed for money reasons on this project, too, and to protect sensitive habitat in the creekbeds. Work began in January 2019, and the project will be completed late this year.

Construction may look stagnant to drivers, but the contractor has been installing drainage systems in the shoulders, constructing concrete barriers on the newly widened bridges and completing improvements on city streets (slope paving, bridge drainage, curbs and gutters, etc.).

Q: I am so thankful that the old cloverleaf interchanges at Highway 4 and 680 and at San Pablo Dam Road and 680 are being re-configured. Yes, it is taking a long time and the challenges of driving through the construction zone are pretty tough.

Currently, there is a very short merge for vehicles entering Highway 4 east from Pacheco Blvd/ Muir Road and those exiting 4 south on 680. When the metering lights are on the entrance ramp, that difficult merge goes relatively smoothly and efficiently. When the metering lights are off (which they usually are), the situation is scary!

Can you suggest to the powers-that-be that metering always be in effect while the construction of that interchange is on-going?

Susan Tiffany-Brown

A: I have done so, and it is being considered.

On-ramp and off-ramp merging will improve after the second phase of the project. This will include widening approximately four miles of Route 4 by adding a third lane in each direction between Morello Avenue in Martinez and Route 242. The project also includes extending Highway 4’s eastbound carpool lane approximately 2 miles.

Work in the current phase of the project involves raising the profile of the roadway and widening the highway and bridges. These are necessary precursors to being able to replace the connector ramps in the future, scheduled to be part of a project that does not yet have construction funding.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com or 408-920-5335.

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Author: Gary Richards

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