Here's information provided by the Alameda County Transportation Commission:
On Thursday, Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC), with partners the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Livermore, broke ground on the northern section of the State Route 84 Expressway project. The expressway is one in a series of projects to improve the SR-84 corridor between Interstate 580 in Livermore and Interstate 680 in Sunol. Combined, the projects reduce traffic congestion, improve safety, and reduce air pollution.
The SR-84 Expressway project will widen a 4.6-mile section of SR-84 (also known as Isabel Avenue) between Ruby Hill Drive and Stanley Boulevard from two lanes to four lanes, and to six lanes between Stanley Boulevard and Jack London Boulevard. With the upgrade, SR-84 will reach expressway standards of 55-mile-per-hour drive speeds.
“Route 84 is a critical mobility investment in the Tri-Valley”, said Mark Green, Mayor of Union City and Chair of the Alameda CTC. “This is a project that has been planned and implemented in stages to deliver congestion relief, improved access and to help support community vitality. Our sales tax measure in Alameda County has been a major funding source for each stage of development. If voters approve the Alameda County 2012 Transportation Expenditure Plan in November 2012, we will have funding to close the final gaps on this project with a new interchange at Route 84 and I-680. The combination of local transportation dollars and state bond funds, both approved by voters, is what is delivering this important project in the Tri-Valley."
The project is also integral to the ongoing transformation and beautification of Livermore by shifting through-traffic away from the re-designed, pedestrian-friendly city center. Pedestrians and bicyclists will also derive safety benefits — multi-use trail between Jack London Boulevard and Vineyard Avenue will be improved, closing a gap and providing a continuous 2.5-mile route for bicyclists and pedestrians.
“Since the relocation of SR-84 from downtown Livermore to Isabel Avenue on the city’s western edge, Livermore’s city center is thriving,” said John Marchand, Mayor of Livermore. “The inviting pedestrian spaces and attractive streetscaping have revitalized our business district. Investments in transportation increase economic vitality and quality of life, both for citizens of Livermore and Bay Area commuters. They can travel more efficiently and spend less time in their vehicles and more time in their community.”
Construction with Measure B Funds
The Route 84 Expressway project will be constructed in two segments—northern and southern. The northern project segment, Concannon Boulevard to Jack London Boulevard, will be built by Bay Cities Paving & Grading Inc. under Caltrans administration and management.
This section will be completed by early 2014.
Construction on the southern project segment, Ruby Hills Drive to Concannon Boulevard, will begin in mid-2014 and be completed in mid- 2016. Final design, right-of-way acquisition, and utility relocation are currently underway for the south segment. The Alameda CTC and the City of Livermore managed the design phase of the Route 84 Expressway project, and provided engineering analysis for Caltrans.
The total SR-84 Expressway project cost estimate is $122.4 million. Of that amount, almost half of the funding for the project—$59 million (49%)—is being provided by the Measure B half- cent transportation sales tax passed by Alameda County voters in 2000. Alameda CTC has leveraged the Measure B funding to attract external (state and local) funding to design and build this important project. Funding for the northern segment includes $16 million from the State Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) bond funds and $23.6 million of Measure B funds. Proposed funding for the southern segment may include State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funds and Tri-Valley Transportation Council funds, in addition to Measure B funds.
A Series of SR-84 Improvements Link I-580 with I-680
A 2003 Project Study Report, sponsored by the Tri-Valley Transportation Council, identified several improvement projects along the SR- 84 corridor between I-680 and I-580 that could be constructed in stages as funding became available. The Tri-Valley Triangle Traffic Study, approved by the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency (now Alameda CTC) Board of Directors in 2007, set priorities for projects along SR-84.
Several have now been completed. For example, the Route 84/Interstate 580 Interchange project included the construction of a new interchange at I-580, realigning SR-84 (Isabel Avenue) to connect with the new interchange, realigning and extending Portola Avenue from East Airway Boulevard to Isabel Avenue, and realigning East Airway Boulevard to conform to the new interchange configuration. Completed in April 2012, the total cost of the project was $110 million, which included $25 million in Measure B funds.
The $32 million Pigeon Pass Improvement project, completed in October 2008 by Caltrans, straightened the alignment along a 2.1-mile stretch of SR-84 west of Ruby Hill Drive, and added truck climbing lanes and other features to enhance safety on SR-84.
In an earlier project completed in 2001 and also funded by Measure B, a new two-lane roadway and grade separation at Stanley Boulevard and the Union Pacific railroad crossing was constructed along Isabel Avenue, allowing through traffic to bypass downtown Livermore. Measure B funded approximately $30 million of the total $52 million project cost.
After the SR-84 Expressway project is completed in 2016, there will be one planned project left: a gap closure project to widen SR-84 from two to four lanes between Pigeon Pass and I- 680 in Pleasanton and Sunol, including the construction of a new I-680/ SR-84 Interchange. This project is currently in the planning stage, and is contingent on obtaining adequate funding. This project is included in Alameda CTC’s new Transportation Expenditure Plan, which will be funded by future Alameda County transportation sales tax revenue, if approved by voters in November 2012.