HAYWARD -- Edward Perez has lived on Lindenwood Way alongside the Interstate 880/Highway 92 interchange since 1972, and he had gotten used to the traffic that he would hear whizzing by on the other side of the sound wall behind his home. But for more than a year, he can also see it.
When he looks out his back windows, he can see trucks zipping by and, at night, the glare of lights from freeway traffic.
The sound wall, which had protected his neighborhood from the sights and sounds of the freeway, no longer does the job.
When the I-880/Highway 92 interchange was rebuilt in 2011, the roadway was elevated, but not the sound wall. So Perez and other Southgate neighborhood residents have a close-up view of each SUV, semitruck and sedan as it passes.
"In the morning, those lights hit my bedroom," Perez said. "They hit my neighbor's house across the street. You can see flash, flash, flash."
Perez and his neighbors has been complaining about the glare and noise since the roadwork was finished in late 2011, and Caltrans has been working with residents and the city to come up with a solution. The state agency will share its ideas for screening the road at a community meeting April 3, said Gregory Townsend, Caltrans spokesman.
"We're proposing a combination of planting trees and installing screening over the existing sound wall to keep glare from lights from the freeway traffic from coming into homes of residents," he said.
He said the screening would be attached to the top of the sound wall.
Caltrans also will be put in three kinds of trees: maidenhair ginkgos, California Christmas trees and Soquel coast redwoods, along with shrubs and vines. The trees will be 8 to 10 feet tall when planted, with some growing to 20 feet within two years, he said.
"I think the trees will be nice enough that we won't need the screens after a year or so," Townsend said.
Tammy Melchiorre has lived across the street from Perez for more than 20 years. "At night, the lights flash into my house, and during the day when the sun is shining, it's light, then shade, then light, then shade," she said.
The screening will probably help reduce the glare, Perez said, but he doubts it will reduce the noise.
"The noise wasn't that bad before. Now it's really bad because the road is so high," he said.
"It's terrible, that's what it is," said Joseph Nobriga, also a resident of Lindenwood Way. "They raised up the freeway, and now you can see the trucks going by. If a truck hits a bump, my whole house shakes. The noise is terrible.
"If I had known what it was going to be like, I would have sold my house and gotten the heck out of here."
Councilwoman Barbara Halliday, who lives nearby in the Southgate neighborhood but away from the now-visible freeway, said residents have lobbied for a higher sound wall, but she doesn't think that will happen because of the expense.
A state analysis that was part of the interchange project's environmental impact report found the sound level was in an acceptable range, said Morad Fakhrai, Hayward public works director, engineering and transportation, though he acknowledged there was traffic noise.
Townsend said the state took the sound into account when deciding on the type of tress to plant.
"People seem to be receptive about our plans to minimize the glare," he said. "We'll probably revisit the question of noise after we get the screens up and see if it's still an issue."
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.
Caltrans will discuss its plans for screening and landscaping along the Southgate sound wall.
When: 6:30 p.m. April 3
Where: Christ's Community Church, 25927 Kay Ave.