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February 18, 2009 > Route 238 Hayward Corridor Improvement

Route 238 Hayward Corridor Improvement

By Simon Wong

Hayward City Staff provided the Council with an update on the Route 238/Mission-Foothill-Jackson Corridor Improvement Project on January 20, 2009.

The Project will improve traffic operations and relieve congestion on Mission Boulevard, Foothill Boulevard and Jackson Street in the City of Hayward. The Corridor extends from the City's northern boundary to Industrial Parkway in the south. The City and the Route 238 Working Group, which consists of community members, advocacy groups, businesses and Cal State East Bay, developed the Project.

Following completion of environmental studies that began in December 2005, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) was released in March 2007. In November 2007, Hayward City Council certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) and approved a reduced Project. Both reports are available on the City's website.

There will be a one-way loop system in the downtown area, peak-hour travel lanes on Foothill Boulevard (north of A Street) and on Mission Boulevard (between Foothill and Palisade Street), other improvements along Foothill and Mission Boulevards and at Foothill-Mission-Jackson and Mission Boulevard-Carlos Bee Boulevard intersections. The Corridor will also see better landscaping and improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTA), which administers the Measure B half-cent transportation sales tax, has approved $38.4 million of funding for the design and right-of-way acquisition phases of the Project. Fortunately, the budget crisis in the California State Assembly has not impacted this Project which is being funded by Measure B tax revenue. State-funded Projects may be subject to delay.

Mark Thomas and Company is undertaking the work for both phases which are on schedule and within budget. They are expected to be completed in December 2009, in readiness for construction and relocation of utilities. Construction is anticipated to last from early/mid 2010 until late 2012.

Twenty-nine of the thirty parcels required for the Project have been appraised and several properties have been acquired. 925 and 933 D Street (formerly La Victoria Restaurant) were acquired in November 2008 and are vacant. City Staff are working with the artist, who painted the mural on the D Street side of the building, to see if it can be reproduced elsewhere in the downtown area. Demolition is planned for February 2009.

In December 2008, 24900 Mission Boulevard (Euro Motors) and part of the property at 24832 Mission Boulevard (Toyz for Big Boyz) were acquired. 24830 Mission Boulevard (Tandoor Restaurant) and 24744 Mission Boulevard (AJ's Bar) were scheduled for purchase in mid-January 2009.

The City has made offers on three residential properties on D Street and is currently speaking with the owners. Negotiations include active support for relocation.

The FEIR notes that the Project cannot proceed as a state highway, as per Caltrans standards. Peak-hour travel lanes and other non-standard features are not part of the state highway system and are regarded as local streets for which the City is responsible. Consequently, the City Manager will enter into all future agreements with a view to Caltrans declaring, through legislation, the following sections of the Corridor to no longer be part of the state highway system - State Route 185 (Mission Boulevard) between A and Jackson Streets; State Route 238 (Foothill and Mission Boulevards) between the I-580 east-bound on-ramp to Industrial Parkway; Route 92 (Jackson Street) between Mission-Foothill-Jackson and Watkins Street. The process is known as "relinquishment."

The Project will fund improvements to these sections of the state highway system so that state funding is not required to bring the roadways to a "good state of repair." The City and Caltrans are discussing details of the relinquishment. The required legislation should pass during the first quarter of 2009.

The cost estimate for the Project is $111 million. ACTA's Measure B funding commitment is capped at $80 million and the City of Hayward has committed $11.5 million. Consequently, there is a $19.5 million shortfall. It is hoped to enact legislation that will qualify the Project for funding from the sale of state-owned rights-of-way associated with the State Route 238 Hayward Bypass.

The consultants' expenses for these phases will not be borne by the City's General Fund; they will be reimbursed by ACTA Measure B funds. Instead, there will be savings to the General Fund; staff time spent on the Project will be covered by Measure B funding.

Reimbursement of Project expenses from ACTA is dependent upon the City of Hayward achieving milestones and targets, as set out in a funding agreement. Should the City either cancel or not complete the Project, not only will the City's expenses not be covered by Measure B funding, it must refund ACTA the Measure B disbursements already received. This contractual agreement ensures that the public funds administered by ACTA are not wasted and can be redirected to other high priority projects within Alameda County.

Construction along the Corridor will take place in sections. City Staff and the consultants are currently reviewing the phasing of construction to minimize disruption to local residents and businesses.

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