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January 20, 2004 > Fremont City Council Hears Hwy 84 Alternative Presentation

Fremont City Council Hears Hwy 84 Alternative Presentation

By direction of the Fremont City Council, Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTA) staff presented the results of a study designed to identify any "fatal flaws" at the conceptual level of a proposed Route 84 alternative alignment at a special work session on Tuesday, January 13th. A similar briefing will be held for the Union City City Council on Tuesday, January 20th , 6 p.m. at the Ruggieri Senior Center. Both City Councils are scheduled to meet jointly on Monday, February 9th at 5 p.m. in the Fremont City Council Chambers.

Christine Monsen, Executive Director and Art Dao, Deputy Director ACTA/ACTIA (Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority) presented the history and findings of the Route 84 Corridor study.

According to the project history presented, the desire for a corridor linking Mission Boulevard and Hwy 880 was identified in 1958 followed by the purchase of land for the "Historic Route 84" alignment. The project was included in Measure B - a sales tax - planning in 1986 and in 1998, after years of reviews and public meetings, a consensus to use the Historic alignment was reached. In 2003, after bitter debate, the cities of Fremont and Union City agreed to explore an alternative alignment using Decoto Road, Alvarado-Niles Road and a short connection to Mission Boulevard.

The ACTA study considered land "take-aways" necessitated by widening of streets and intersections, air quality, noise, travel demands over time and a traffic operations analysis. The new alternative for Route 84 would widen Decoto Road from four to six travel lanes, widen Alvarado-Niles Road from four to six lanes, construct improvements for affected intersections and install bike facilities, landscaping, reconstruct sidewalks, crosswalk and pedestrian refuge areas. Quarry Lakes Drive access to Alvarado-Niles Road would be rerouted.

Traffic Operations Analysis indicates that existing conditions during "peak" hours at intersections along the proposed Route 84 are poor. Scoring Level of Service (LOS) on a scale of "A" (free flowing, little waiting) to "F" (waiting two to three red lights before proceeding through an intersection), gives an "A" rank to the Decoto Road/I-880 ramp but most others have rankings of "D" or worse. Projections for the year 2025 continue the slide toward additional delays even with the Route 84 alternative in place. The Historic Route 84 alignment fares a bit better due to fewer and in most cases, minor improvement at intersections. There would be some beneficial impact on traffic along Mowry Avenue.

The Executive Summary of the report states that the project "would involve substantial right of way impacts" including acquisition of private and commercial property as well as "impacts to landscaping with loss of mature trees, vegetation and on-street parking." In order to accommodate increased traffic flows along Route 84, significant land takeaways would occur along the route for improved intersections and additional lanes. At the intersection of Decoto Road and Alvarado-Niles Road, expansion of both segments of Route 84 will cause massive disruption including the condemnation of a Taco Bell, a housing complex and the Shell Station on intersection corners.

The study anticipated "no significant air quality and noise impacts in 2025." Estimated cost for the project is $140,700,000 with available funding shown at $101,860,000. The "best case" schedule shown by the ACTA study is construction between fall 2010 and fall 2013.

If the project remains at a stalemate, Ms. Monsen replied that was not her decision, but the Board of Directors has the option of redirecting funds to other projects. At the end of the work session, Mayor Morrison comments on the future of this project were not encouraging.

At the intersection of Decoto Road and Alvarado-Niles Road, expansion of both segments of Route 84 will cause massive disruption including the condemnation of a Taco Bell, a housing complex and the Shell Station on intersection corners.

 
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