Completed Bay Area Road Projects
The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Removal Project
MISSION: The above title pretty much describes it all—the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge was completed in September 2014, meaning the old one needed to go. Removing it, however, isn't as easy as it sounds—for safety reasons, the span had to be deconstructed carefully. Removal photos below; we apologize for launching TSR too late to provide worthy coverage of the new bridge construction.
The final piece of the old Bay Bridge was removed in 2017.
The Autumn Street (San Jose) Extension Project
MISSION: When the Oakland Athletics began to (unsuccessfully) grease the wheels toward a move to San Jose's Diridon Station area (named after the CalTrain station not far from HP Pavilion or whatever they're calling the San Jose Sharks arena these days), SJ city officials went to work improving the surrounding area.
Among their goals: connecting the two ends of Autumn Street. The main portion runs south of the CalTrain tracks and eventually fades away into back roads.
A few years back, a small stub of road named "Autumn Parkway" was built alongside the San Jose Market Center—the one off Coleman Avenue with Target, Wingstop, etc. It's a four-lane road that, save for the driveway into said shopping center, was absolutely useless—mere feet past the driveway, Autumn terminated at the tracks. The Pavilion is clearly visible on the other side, but unreachable.
Realizing the waste of a potential four-lane thoroughfare to the Diridon area right off Coleman Avenue/Interstate 880, San Jose went to work on making Autumn one. It has already been converted to an at-grade crossing at the CalTrain tracks (at the cost of removing one at existing Autumn at Cinnabar Street).
With the A's move stalled—possibly forever—progress on the new road stalled as well. But as of Spring 2016, crews were working again. The project was finished in 2017.
The Mission Blvd./I-880 (Fremont) Redesign Project
MISSION: Back in the day, this interchange was a little confusing and a lot inefficient. In 2005, work began to reconfigure the wonky interchange into a more conventional one—the loop ramp from SB 880 to E. Warren Avenue was removed, and the two Warren Avenues were connected with a traditional overpass/ramps. With those ramps in place, one wasn't really needed at Gateway Blvd. anymore; it was also removed in favor of a wider, longer Mission Blvd. to SB 880 ramp.
Work completed in 2009.
The Stevens Creek Blvd./I-880 (San Jose) Redesign Project
MISSION: Trying to go from N-280 to either direction of 880/17 or Santana Row/Valley Fair Mall had long been more confusing and challenging than it had to be. The ramp for N-880 ran to the left of, and under, the ramp to S-17—no other interchange in the area that I know of had this configuration.
Having lived in the area for some time, I used this interchange often, and on at least 75% of my uses, another driver would belatedly realize the unusual setup and swerve out of his lane at he last minute. And once you did reach N-880, you were forced to share the ramp with entering/exiting Stevens Creek Blvd. traffic—which, because of the nearby mall, could get quite heavy at times.
Ground broke on improvements at this junction and surrounding roads in 2012; they were completed in 2015:
N-280 to N-880 traffic now has a brand new "outside" lane that does not share ramps for Stevens Creek Blvd. The old N-880 ramp was converted into a Stevens Creek Blvd. exit-only ramp.
The old loop ramps from 280/880 to Stevens Creek were replaced with signalized T-ramps,
S-880's ramp to Stevens Creek was moved and improved, and a special ramp from S-880 to Monroe Street (a parallel road that runs along the east side of Valley Fair Mall) was constructed to allow mall visitors to bypass Stevens Creek entirely—reducing congestion there, and
The Stevens Creek Blvd. overpass for 880 was widened, sidewalked and beautified.
The Cherry Ave./Sanchez St. (San Jose) Extension Project
MISSION: With a Bass Pro Shop store as the hub of a new shopping center at the SE corner of Almaden Expressway and Cherry Avenues in San Jose—slightly north of the Almaden/State Route 85 junction—a new access road to the center was needed to handle the extra traffic at what is already a busy, congested area.
Sanchez Street, which begins at Blossom Hill Road, ran about ½-mile before terminating at the elevated SR-85. Though it's a residential strip of road, Sanchez is wide and durable—more than capable of handling shopping center traffic headed to/from Blossom Hill Road.
Heading up Almaden Expwy. north, Cherry Avenue is the first intersection drivers reach, shared with a stub of road that is named Chynoweth Avenue for no other discernible reason than to confuse deliverymen—the primary Chynoweth Avenue runs well east of this area.
This project does away with the Chynoweth naming—the road becomes an extension of Cherry. Also, Sanchez was extended under SR-85 to connect with the widened, lengthened Cherry, creating a crucial bypass to the congested Almaden/85 corridor—this will serve not only shoppers at the new shopping center, but also at the existing center on the NE corner of Almaden/Cherry.
The Devlin Road (Napa County) Extension Project
MISSION: In unincorporated Napa County near the airport lies Devlin Road, which for many years existed in three pieces—a main chunk from Soscol Ferry Road down to Airport Blvd., a small piece intersecting Airpark Road, and another piece running off Tower Road.
In 2013, work began to unite the three segments. First, the two southernmost pieces were connected with an extension of Devlin Road from Bronco Road north to Airport Blvd. Finally, in 2019, a bridge was built over Fagan Creek, which separated the two segments remaining. The road was extended at both ends and like that, Devlin was now one long drive as of March 2020.
There are still plans to eventually extend Devlin from its current southern terminus down to Green Island Road.
The Fremont Blvd. (Fremont) Extension Project
MISSION: The Crossings, a development company, wanted to build on the land situated just west of Interstate 880 between State Route 262 and Dixon Landing Road. Since no road led there, a long-proposed extension of Fremont Blvd. southbound to an existing T-intersection with Dixon Landing and McCarthy Blvd. was given the green light.
Fremont is a long, durable road that terminated at a creek just south of the existing Bayside District—extending it southward to connect with McCarthy allows commuters another option should 880 become congested in the area; there are many roads in the Bayside District capable of handling more traffic, but not much traffic in the area.
Work on the roughly 2/3-mile road began in early 2014 and wrapped in mid-2015.
The Broadway/US-101 (Burlingame) Modification Project
MISSION: Replacing the 65-plus-year-old interchange at Broadway/US-101. The existing four-lane overpass was narrow and lacked sidewalks, plus it was plain ugly. A seven-lane replacement with sidewalks was planned to meet up with Airport Blvd. on the NE side of 101. All on/off ramps would be modified, as would the Broadway intersection with Rollins Road on the SW side of 101 (ramps realigned away from the intersection).
In short, the new interchange would be wider, more conventional and plain better-looking. Ground broke in 2014; work completed in 2017.
The Kato Road (Fremont) Grade Separation Project
MISSION: To facilitate BART's extension into Santa Clara County, Kato Road needed to be lowered under existing UPRR tracks (which BART tracks will run alongside.) That's pretty much the gist of it; photos will show the now-completed project at various intervals of construction. This is not to be confused with the portion of Kato that runs north/south over Mission Blvd. in Fremont that was recently improved.
The Warren Avenue (Fremont) Grade Separation Project
MISSION: To facilitate BART's extension into Santa Clara County, Warren Avenue—which only a few years ago underwent major work when the Mission Blvd./I-880 interchange was redone—needed to be lowered under existing UPRR tracks (which BART tracks will run alongside.) That's pretty much the gist of it; photos will show the now-completed project at various intervals of construction.