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September 24, 2010 > Fremont City Council

Fremont City Council

September 21, 2010

Work Sessions:

Niles Canyon Safety Projects:
Presentation by Caltrans personnel of three safety improvement projects anticipated in Niles Canyon. A draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been prepared and completed its public review for the first project (Niles Canyon 1) scheduled to begin construction later this year. According to Caltrans, accident data indicates the need to address the condition of the two-lane highway, its alignment and narrow shoulders. Soft median strips and "rumble

Niles Canyon 1 will impact a 2.2 mile section of State Route 84 roughly from the intersection with Palomares Rd. westward to the Union City/Fremont boundary. Estimated cost $12.6M.

Niles Canyon 2 will widen the road and shoulders of a 4.4 mile section in the midsection of Niles Canyon. This project is currently in public review and comment. Deadline for public comment on the EIR is October 7, 2010. Niles 2 is scheduled for construction fall 2012. Estimated cost $34.2M.

Niles Canyon 3 will replace Alameda Creek Bridge. This 0.6 mi project is expected to complete construction fall 2015. Estimated cost $33.7M.

Public comment was universally critical of the project challenging Caltrans assumptions. Residents of Fremont and Sunol stated that widening and shoulder work of Niles Canyon would increase the volume and speed of traffic while compromising the aesthetic value of the road currently designated as a "scenic highway." Extensive tree removal and installation of retaining walls will impact will create a "major visual intrusion" and impair egress for wildlife, in effect, a "killing zone." Walls will invite graffiti and create additional hazards for bicyclists confined to a separate lane separated by a rumble strip.

Councilmembers noted the intrusive nature of the work on a valuable visual and historic resource and asked that Caltrans personnel incorporate public comment and suggestions in their plans, to understand and respect the difference between an engineering and aesthetic perspective.

Public comment on Niles Canyon 2 can be sent to:

Valerie Heusinkveld, Environmental Branch Chief
Attn: Oliver Iberien
Department of Transportation
Office of Environmental Analysis MS 8B
111 Grand Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612
Or
Valerie_Heusinkveld@dot.ca.gov
Update on South Fremont/Warm Springs area studies:
A series of four studies, funded through a $333,000 grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will focus on 1) market/economic analysis; 2) land use alternatives; 3) infrastructure and cost analysis; and 4) financial assessment of the area. City staff has met with lead consultants Perkins + Will who will hold public outreach meetings, scheduled as shown below:

Monday, October 4
7-9 p.m.
Warm Springs Community Center
47300 Fernald St., Fremont
Registration is requested but not required at www.fremont.gov/southfremontreg

Saturday, November 6
TBD
Fremont City Hall
3300 Capitol Ave., Fremont

Early December
TBD
Warm Springs Community Center
47300 Fernald St., Fremont

City councilmembers have requested an interim report prior to a scheduled presentation scheduled for Tuesday, December 14.


Additional information can be found at www.fremont.gov or by contacting the project manager Brian Millar (510) 284-4008; bmillar@fremont.gov.

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