Today (11/8/13) I spoke with Jack Siauw the new Project Manager for the Niles Canyon Road-Route 84- Safety Improvement Project.Â I contacted Jack after speaking with Jim Pierson, City of Fremont Dept of Public Works Director who alerted me to the fact that
Caltrans has been working on a different approach to designing the rebuild of
the bridge over the Alameda Creek. Below are excerpts from a message Jim
Pierson sent me.
â€¦I just had a good meeting with Caltrans about the new Alameda Creek Bridge in Niles Canyon.Â If you recall at our last stakeholders meeting Caltrans showed us a bridge
design with a 43 mph design speed.Â This was their second design attempt
in order to reduce the much larger impacts of the original design, which was
based on what Caltrans would normally construct.Â Because this new bridge
design still had impacts on the Canyon and Creek, particularly at the
approaches,Â I casually suggested that maybe to further reduce the impacts
they could look at a bridge with a 35 mph design speed.Â I honestly never
thought they would consider thatâ€¦Â I also knew that Caltrans would never
develop a â€śsubstandardâ€ť bridge design because the bridge is very expensive and
will last 100 years, so they always design for the future, which makes sense.
The good news is that although they cannot support a bridge with a 35 mph design speed, just like I thought, they actually laid it out and took the idea very seriously.Â In
fact, as a result of Â this design, they were able to see that they could reduce some of the impacts on the approaches on the east (south) end of the bridge.Â This latest proposal would eliminate the need to extend the roadway out over the creek channel on this
side of the bridge like they previously showed us.Â I think this is a big improvement and I was pleased that Caltrans took my idea seriouslyâ€¦
Although they donâ€™t have all the internal approvals yet that they need to actually say this is the preferred design, they plan to schedule a stakeholders meeting to share this
new concept.Â They would then include it in the new environmental documentâ€¦.
they are going to try to schedule the stakeholder meeting â€¦ maybe in the first
week of December.Â I think they are also willing to hold the meeting down
here so everyone doesnâ€™t have to go up to Oakland.
Overall, I think this is very positive and I am supportive of the design they showed me.Â They really made an effort to minimize the impacts.
During my Â telephone conversation with Jack Siauw he confirmed the points Jim Pierson made and indicated they (Caltrans) were working on organizing a stakeholder meeting targeting the first week in December. Invitations to the meeting will be issued by Caltrans.
Posted by Mike Dubinsky, SaveNilesCanyon
Note- A Stakeholder meeting is not a full open to the public session but rather a by invitation to representatives from the organizations who have a stake in the project.