Q There is a sign on Warren Avenue in Fremont warning that it will be closed June 17. Warren is used to bypass the Mission Boulevard mess between interstates 680 and 580, and closing Warren will make Mission even worse. Whose bright idea was it to completely close Warren Avenue?
A Before relief comes some pain. Folks in charge of the BART extension are overseeing this work, and Warren will be closed for a year as construction on the train extension gathers steam. Warren will be lowered to allow for building new BART, maintenance and Union Pacific Railroad bridges over both Mission and Warren.
Warren will be closed at Kato Road to the west and Mission Falls Court to the east. The recommended detour is Warm Springs Boulevard, South Grimmer Boulevard and Fremont Boulevard.
In addition, Mission will be widened to six lanes from I-880 to Warm Springs Boulevard and given new ramps to and from Kato. This will allow BART trains to pass over Mission.
Q Help! We moved to an apartment in Oakland on Jackson Street about a year ago. We love its proximity to Lake Merritt and downtown. We do a lot more walking and taking public transportation, with bus stops and BART stations nearby.
However, when we need to drive and go out on Jackson Street, it is like going to a war zone. Repaving is long overdue. There are hundreds of potholes and cracks in all sizes; the deep and wide ones are really dangerous for both walkers and drivers. We just replaced one of our tires and now two more tires are damaged.
Take a drive down Jackson Street from 19th Street to Seventh Street and you will understand the bumpy and dangerous road that we and hundreds of residents experience everyday. Hope you can help shed some light on this issue and give us some hope.
A Hope? I'm afraid not. There are no plans to fix your bumpy street in a city where the street quality ranks 98th out of 109 Bay Area cities. Oakland faces a $435 million backlog to repair its roads and this year has less than $5 million available. Go to www2.oaklandnet.com/Government/o/PWA/o/EC/s/STS/OAK030328, look for "Paving Work" and click on the list of streets to be upgraded. Just don't look for Jackson Street.
Q Now that Caltrans has decided to start on Interstate 580 to add carpool lanes, my question: Why, when other freeways have their speeds lowered to 55 mph during construction projects, has Caltrans not done so in the Livermore area?
A A 55-mph speed limit will be in place soon. This is going to be a narrow travel zone with construction underway, so please heed the lower limit. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned next week for this project to add carpool and toll lanes.
Q I commute westbound in the morning on the San Mateo Bridge. Each day there is one booth closed and it results in a monster backup. Am I missing some sequestration or is Caltrans testing our daily patience? Any plans to go the Golden Gate Bridge option of all-electronic tolls in the future?
A Bad news on both accounts. One toll booth has been closed since December in a cost-cutting move, the middle lane or No. 9 lane of the mini-toll plaza. As traffic delays soar, this is not a welcome move. And going to all-electronic tolling on the San Mateo Bridge could be a decade away.
Q On Interstate 880 near Highway 101, there are what look like flashing beacons on top of overhead signs. The beacons aren't turned on yet. What is the purpose here?
A The flashing beacons on top of the overhead signs are to provide warning for drivers to slow down to 20 mph on the tight curves at the interchange. They'll be turned on by the end of the month.
Q I have been traveling Highway 101 for the last 10 years. Most of the new barriers along 101 are concrete, but just south of Oregon Expressway there is a long stretch where the barriers are metal. Why?
A For flood control reasons. Water is able to pass under the gap in metal barriers from one side of the freeway to the other.
Q You mentioned that the Coalinga/Avenal rest area on Interstate 5 is closed. We travel to Los Angeles once a month and that's the place we like to stop. There does not appear to be any work going on there, so why it is closed?
A Caltrans is installing a new septic tank system and most of the work is out of sight. But there is relief ahead for travelers needing a break. The rest stop should reopen on July 3.
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