880 Corridor Work to Impact Alameda

The Alameda County Transportation Commission (CTC) and CalTrans approved a project last month that will replace the freeway overcrossings on 23rd and 29th avenues on Northbound I-880.

The project titled, "I-880 North Safety and Operational Improvements at 23rd and 29th Avenues," is currently in the readyto- list phase where construction companies bid for the job.

Plans are to replace the 29th Avenue two-lane bridge with a fourlane bridge. It will also take away a portion of East Ninth Street to accommodate a wider exit ramp that would elevate up to a new traffic signal on the 29th Avenue Bridge.

Construction will impact Alameda traffic during the proposed construction period from mid-2013 to mid-2017. The project is planned to have traffic backups on Park Street and Buena Vista Avenue — on weekday mornings and evenings — and Park Street and Clement Avenue — on weekday evenings, according to the draft environmental impact transportation analysis, which was approved by CalTrans in April 2010. The exact procedures during the queuing phase is still unknown, according to Tess Lengyel, deputy director of policy and public affairs for Alameda CTC, but did acknowledge detours may occur.

The project has drawn criticism from Oakland and Alameda residents because of possible traffic flow problems, but the county feels the improvements are needed.

The existing I-880 interchanges at 29th Avenue and 23rd Avenue are currently heavily congested because of nonstandard roadway designs, according to the project submission report.

The existing overcrossings have multiple columns supporting each bridge and the vertical clearances over I-880 are at 12 feet, less than the current CalTrans Design Standard of 16.5 feet. As a result, accidents in the area have been five times more than the statewide average.

The majority of the more than $100 million project will be funded by a $73 million Trade Corridor Improvements Fund of the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006; approved by voters as Proposition 1B in November 2006.

The other financing will come from local sales tax, federal funding and regional and local funding, according to Lengyel. The project is part of the I-880 Corridor Improvement Project.

Contact Ekene Ikeme at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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