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October 11, 2011 > SR 92/I-880 interchange reconstruction relieves traffic congestion

SR 92/I-880 interchange reconstruction relieves traffic congestion

Submitted By MTC

The State Route-92/Interstate-880 interchange in Hayward was originally built in the 1950s and considered advanced at the time. In the meantime, Bay Area growth has led to congestion on the region's roads and freeways and continued growth is forecast. The newly reconstructed interchange will accommodate a 56 percent-increase in peak-hour traffic volumes projected to occur by 2025. Two new "direct connectors" that replace the original "cloverleaf" design.

A "cloverleaf" design resembles a four-petal cloverleaf from above. Technically, it is a four-way interchange on two levels where all left turns are made by turning to the right in a 270-degree loop. However, this requires exiting and entering traffic to merge into the same lane, known as weaving. The old-fashioned cloverleaf design suited traffic conditions in the 1950s but a more efficient and effective design is needed, today, to ensure the mobility of people and goods. The new design reduces merging- and weaving- related accidents and improves overall traffic safety and operations.

More than 235,000 commuters use the SR 92/I-880 interchange, daily. The reconstructed facility relives traffic congestion. On October 7, 2011, Caltrans, the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA, a sister agency to Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)), the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and the City of Hayward celebrated the completion of the $245M project.

"Caltrans has worked diligently with its partners to help relieve traffic congestion, improve the quality of life for residents and daily commuters and improve goods movement for area businesses," said Caltrans Acting Director Malcolm Dougherty.

The new interchange features two direct connectors (a new eastbound SR 92 to northbound I-880 connector ramp and a new westbound SR-92 to southbound I-880 connector ramp); widened southbound I-880 to westbound SR-92 connector ramp; reconstruction of Calaroga Bridge; reconstruction of ADA-compliant Eldridge Pedestrian overcrossing (from Peterman Avenue on the west side of I-880 to Eldridge Avenue on the east side of I-880); improvements at Hesperian Boulevard Interchange; added auxiliary lanes on I-880, from Winton Avenue to SR-92 and from SR-92 to Tennyson Road in both directions.

"We're very pleased with the construction of this complex and successful project whose completion entailed more than 2,500 closures, often requiring detours affecting at least one direction of travel at the interchange," stated Bijan Sartipi, Caltrans District 4 director and an MTC/BATA commissioner. "Despite the complexity, Caltrans and the two prime contractors, Flatiron Construction and Granite Construction, achieved a cost savings in excess of $1M while creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the transportation industry."

The project was funded primarily by the MTC-sponsored and Bay Area voter-approved Regional Measure 1 (RM 1), which established a base auto toll of $1 for all seven state-owned Bay Area toll bridges. The revenues generated by the toll increase were identified for use for certain highway and bridge improvements, public transit rail extensions, and other projects that reduce congestion in the bridge corridors. The project also includes $9.6M from Alameda County voters' passage of Measure B, a half-cent county transportation sales tax.

"This is certainly a day for celebration and to say 'Thank You' to Bay Area voters and toll-payers," commented Alameda County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Scott Haggerty. "Completion of the SR 92/I-880 Interchange project wraps up the entire Regional Measure 1 program approved by voters back in 1988. Toll funds were used not only to provide relief for the congestion that has bedeviled the SR 92/I-880 Interchange for decades but also to finance the new Benicia-Martinez and Carquinez bridges, the San Mateo/Hayward Bridge widening, rehab of the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge, construction of the Richmond Parkway, improvements to the Dumbarton Bridge approaches and several other projects."

Community involvement with the SR-92/I-880 Interchange project helped Caltrans to minimize impacts during construction.

"The SR 92/I-880 interchange project represents a partnership between Caltrans and the city of Hayward, most notably the neighborhood Citizens Advisory Committee who helped steer the project and ensure that the interchange was constructed in a manner that met the goals of the project while minimizing the impact to city residents," commented Hayward Mayor Michael Sweeney. "The fact that this project was constructed in such a fashion speaks to the impact citizens can have on the transportation planning process."

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