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August 12, 2009 > Fremont's largest public works project nearing completion

Fremont's largest public works project nearing completion

Submitted By Melissa Wynne-Jones

The largest public works project ever undertaken by the City of Fremont, the Washington Boulevard/ Paseo Padre Parkway Grade Separation Project, is about to achieve another milestone with the opening of the new Paseo Padre Parkway underpass, located between Shadowbrooke Common Road and Hancock Drive, on Wednesday, August 12, 2009. The underpass will be a substantial improvement to the City's infrastructure that increases safety, decreases traffic congestion, and prepares the area for the extension of BART's regional transit system to the Warm Springs area of Fremont.

"The new Paseo Padre Parkway underpass will eliminate the need for cars and pedestrians to wait for passing trains," said Jim Pierson, City of Fremont Transportation and Operations Director. "The Grade Separation Project, which took nearly 15 years to plan, design, secure funding, and construct, is expected to be completed by the end of this year, almost one year ahead of schedule and within budget."

In addition to the Paseo Padre Parkway underpass, the Grade Separation Project includes a new bridge on Washington Boulevard between Bruce Drive and Roberts Avenue over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and future BART tracks, which opened to traffic in April 2009. The project also involved realigning approximately 1.5 miles of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks several hundred feet to the east of the old tracks in the area between Paseo Padre Parkway and Washington Boulevard.

The Grade Separation project facilitates extension of BART from the Downtown Fremont Station to a new station in Warm Springs and, in the future, to San Jose. The future BART tracks will travel over Paseo Padre Parkway on a bridge structure and continue at grade, passing under Washington Boulevard.

When the new Paseo Padre Parkway underpass first opens, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction. The inside lanes, next to the median, will be used as work space to complete the landscaping and remaining portions of the median. In this phase, only the south sidewalk will be open to pedestrians. Once all the median work and its landscaping are completed in September 2009, all lanes of the new underpass and both sidewalks will be opened to traffic and pedestrians. Construction hours in the area will continue to occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Other final activities for the project include completing the widening of Osgood and Driscoll roads in the Washington Boulevard area and completing the final alignment and landscaping of the new Washington Boulevard. Furthermore, once the detour roads are completely removed at both Washington Boulevard and Paseo Padre Parkway, Union Pacific Railroad will remove its railroad crossing panels and gates in October 2009. Upon removal of these gates, the bells will stop ringing at these crossings and trains will no longer need to sound their horns. The entire project is expected to be completed by December 2009. For more information, please visit www.fremontgradesep.com, e-mail info@fremontgradesep.com or call the project infoline at (510) 273-2488.

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