TRI-VALLEY -- Construction has begun on the latest phase of the widening of Highway 84 between Interstate 580 in Livermore and Interstate 680 in Sunol to reduce congestion on the busy commute road.
The $40 million project will widen the highway from two to six lanes between Stanley and Jack London boulevards and from two to four lanes from Stanley to Concannon boulevards.
The contractor, Bay Cities Paving and Grading, is scheduled to complete the project in March 2014.
"This is about providing a faster, smooth ride," said Heather Barber, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County Transportation Commission, a partner in the project. "It's about keeping traffic off the surface streets in Livermore and Pleasanton."
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held July 26.
The project is financed with funds from Measure B, a county half-cent sales tax measure approved in 2000, and state and federal funds.
This is the third part of the five-phase project to widen 10.6 miles of Highway 84, also known as Isabel Avenue, between Interstates 580 and 680. Many commuters use the route between the two interstates, or as an alternative to avoid them.
In the next phase of the project to start in 2014 and finish in 2016, Highway 84 will be widened to four lanes between Concannon Boulevard and Ruby Hills Drive. This 2.6-mile-long segment will cost an estimated $82.7 million.
In an earlier phase of the project, Highway 84 was moved
"Since the relocation of State Route 84 from downtown Livermore to Isabel Avenue on the city's western edge, Livermore's city center is thriving," Livermore Mayor John Marchand said in a written release.
In the fifth and final stage of the project, three miles of the highway would be widened from two to four lanes between Pigeon Pass and Interstate 680 in Sunol.
That project would cost an estimated $277 million -- money that is not yet lined up, according to a report by the county Transportation Commission.
Some funding for the project would be provided if Alameda County voters in November approve a ballot measure to increase the county sales tax from a half-cent to a full penny.
Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.