Construction crews working on the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore project are within a few hundred feet of connecting Orinda and Oakland. Caltrans has estimated that the two ends of the tunnel will connect at some point next week when crews clear the last part of the 3,389-foot tunnel.
With the major portion of the project, the digging, out of the way, crews will now focus on the tunnel’s two-foot thick support shell, laying in the road and other finishing projects.
The fourth bore is still scheduled to be open to traffic in late 2013. Caltrans believes the addition of the fourth bore will help clear up traffic in a location that is backed-up regularly.
The rain and wind has caused a large tree to fall onto Happy Valley Road, closing the road. Workers have been working all morning to get the tree removed; however, it is taking a bit longer than expected.
The closed road will have a major impact on traffic near Happy Valley Elementary School, as parents will be unable to pick their children up on the Happy Valley Road side of the school. The school has sent out an email to inform all parents that they will have to pick up their children on the Upper Happy Valley Road side of the school, which will likely cause major back-ups in the area.
The construction on the Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore is expected to be finished in mid-2013 with the fourth bore opening up to traffic in late-2013. The fourth bore will allow for two bores to be open in each direction at all times, helping to counteract reverse commute traffic.
The two crews boring from each side of the hill have met, connecting the tunnel from Orinda to Oakland.
Crews are currently working on digging out the lower part of the tunnel. That section, known as the bench, is where the pavers will come in and lay down road.
The Caldecott Tunnel’s fourth bore construction is being done at a cost of $391 million.
Anyone driving along Pleasant Hill Road between Olympic Boulevard and Mt. Diablo Boulevard in the past few months has certainly noticed the construction going on. If you hit it during commute hours, delays are almost guaranteed.
The good news is that progress is being made, but the bad news is that construction will continue for the next few weeks or even months.
One of the most recent additions was the installation of additional posts along the sidewalks, which stops people from parking on and blocking the path. Some older posts on the sidewalk were updated with new reflective tape.
Rheem Boulevard, arguably the most complained about road in Moraga, is finally getting some work done, but that doesn’t mean everything is perfect.
The roadwork is expected to begin in late May and will last for 20 days, during which the construction crew will be able to completely shut down the section between Saint Mary’s Road and Moraga Road during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. That means there will be detours for families and students driving home after school for about three weeks.
Another item to note is that they will only be repairing parts of that section of road, specifically the ends. The major damage in the middle of that section will have to wait until some more money comes in.
A Moraga Way Traffic Community Workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Founders Auditorium at the Orinda Community Center, 28 Orinda Way. The purpose of the Public Workshop is to gather input from the community on traffic issues on Moraga Way. The Traffic Safety Advisory Committee of the City of Orinda is hosting the forum and has invited guests including representatives from Miramonte High School and Orinda Union School District. A consulting traffic engineer will also be available to answer questions. For more information, including previous traffic engineering studies along the corridor, click here or contact City Engineer Janice Carey at (925) 253-4260.
Not a whole lot of news out of Thursday night’s Tri-City Council meeting. The meetings are held annually and primarily serve as a venue for the three councils to discuss and provide updates on issues of common interest.
The councils first received a presentation on Senate Bill 375, which calls for the creation of “Sustainable Communities Strategies,” land use and transportation plans designed to help regions meet new environmental standards by reducing the amount of greenhouses gas emissions from cars and trucks. The SCS will guide much of the Bay Area’s growth over the next 25 years.
Representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Association of Bay Area Governments told the councils about SB375 and the process for creating an SCS. You can learn more about the that process at OneBayArea.org.
The three councils also discussed road/infrastructure repair as well as community development and downtowns. Some highlights:
Lafayette Mayor Carl Anduri said if his city seeks a parcel tax for roads, it will likely be on the November ballot. No polling would be done beforehand, and the tax would be under $100 and for a maximum of 10 years, he said.
Orinda City Councilman Dean Orr suggested the three cities could save money by bundling their infrastructure projects together, offering contractors a larger job and possibly an incentive to lower costs.
Lafayette City Manager Steven Falk hopes the Downtown Specific Plan will return to the council this summer.
In an effort to stave of another Dollar Tree-style battle, Moraga will develop a retail ordinance to better outline which types of shops and restaurants residents do and do not want.
Foodies: Moraga’s Mediterranean restaurant should open in less than a month, and Whole Foods will open in Lafayette this summer.
The Lafayette City Council finalized the design of proposed sidewalk improvements along Mt. Diablo Boulevard last night, opting to keep U-turns legal at Happy Valley Road and deciding how to separate pedestrians from the Diablo Foods/CVS/Trader Joe’s parking lot.
For some background on the improvements, you can read my story from December here.
The council scrapped plans for pedestrian bulb-outs at Mt. Diablo and Happy Valley Road, which would have required the city to ban U-turns at that intersection. The shopping center’s property and business owners made a compelling case that U-turns were needed to serve as a relief valve when the entrance to the center gets congested, said City Manager Steven Falk.
The council also decided the best way to separate pedestrians walking along Mt. Diablo Boulevard from cars parking at the shopping center was a stone wall covered with ivy.
The original plan called for a wall plus about 18 inches of landscaping, but the property owners worried that would cause drivers to not pull completely into parking spaces, leading to congestion in the parking lot.
Staff also presented other options, including a metal railing or just landscaping, but said those options had either higher construction costs or higher maintenance costs and recommended the wall plus ivy alternative.