880 Revise May Cause Traffic Havoc

CalTrans Map

The one lane, direct to Alameda, will likely cause cars headed to Alameda to back up into Oakland when traffic on the freeway stops.

Changes created by the I-880 North Safety and Operational Improvements at 23rd and 29th avenues project might generate traffic problems for drivers entering Alameda from 23rd Avenue in Oakland.

Currently, there are two, twolane overcrossings on 23rd Avenue above I-880 — one going toward Oakland and the other toward Alameda.

On the overcrossing going toward Alameda, drivers on both lanes can continue on 23rd Avenue, but the right lane allows drivers to enter I-880 South.

After the project is done, however, there will be just one three-lane overcrossing with just one lane to accommodate drivers entering both Alameda and I-880 South, (the other two lanes will be for drivers going toward Oakland.)

This may create traffic problems because if I-880 South is in a traffic jam, which often happens weekdays in the early morning and evening, the flow of traffic entering both the freeway and Alameda from 23rd Avenue would be impeded. Alameda officials have been involved in the project dating back to 2007, according to Public Works Director Matt Naclerio. Naclerio said the city raised concerns about the new overcrossing.

"City staff had requested that the new 23rd Avenue overcrossing provide two lanes in each direction," said Naclerio. "However, we were informed that there were insufficient funds to accommodate this request."

Even with their concerns, the city believes the project is beneficial. "Because of the regional benefits associated with the project, the improved conditions at the off-ramp and the improvements at 29th Avenue, the city ultimately did not object to the project proceeding," he said.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission, the organization behind the project, also feels that the improvements are needed.

The vertical clearances over I-880 on 23rd and 29th avenues are less than the current CalTrans Design Standard of 16.5 feet, according to the project proposal submitted to the California Department of Transportation. The project is due to begin in mid-2013 and conclude by mid- 2017.


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