05 February 2007

The big chokepoint

The Merc's Mr. Roadshow, Gary Richards, has an update on the big chokepoint in South Fremont/Warm Springs, the 880/Mission interchange:

Q Gary, you've written so much about the construction on Highway 87, which I drive through every day and that is greatly appreciated. But I also drive up to Interstate 880 through the Mission Boulevard squeeze and need to know: When is this work going to end? Opening the merge lanes has helped, but I need to see more signs of progress.
Tom Enriquez, San Jose

A Oh, do I have good news for you. Progress is right around the bend on this $178 million project. The ramps from westbound Mission to south and north I-880 could open by spring or summer, a major milestone. And there is more you need to know:
• The Kato Road ramps will be closed and the new overpass open in another month, perhaps.
• The ramp from south I-880 to east Mission: spring 2008.
• The ramp from north I-880 to east Mission: fall 2008.
• Completion of the Warren Avenue interchange: Late 2008.
• Opening of carpool lanes on I-880: fall 2008.

The opening of the merge lanes from Mission to 237 has already made life a lot easier for those on 880 South during the PM commute. The incremental improvements, culminating with the carpool lane additions, should make 880 South quite smooth. As for 880 North, the widening and siphoning should alleviate some of the problems for the through traffic but there's no completely solution as the volume is too heavy to fulfill everyone's needs.