Q I was heartened to read that Caltrans is putting more of an effort into paving our highways. There are still plenty of rough roads around, and I hope more fixes are coming. Even Interstate 880 is looking good.
A Could it be? No more Nasty Nimitz?
This may come as a shocker, but I would vote 880 from Oakland to San Jose as the smoothest ride in the Bay Area. Mrs. Roadshow and I drove it the other night when traffic was light and hit not a single pothole or really rough spot in our 40-mile journey from Jack London Square to Valley Fair.
State highways are in their best shape in more than a decade, and 880 may the best example in the Bay Area. Can you name another highway in the region that is smoother?
Q I have been commuting between Pleasanton and Livermore for eight-plus years. In the early years, the Interstate 580 pavement was so bad that rocks broke the windshield of my Prius three times. The widening, added carpool lane and repaving on 580 east has made my commute a thousand times nicer. The repaving of a few miles of 580 west in Livermore was also very welcome.
A And more paving will come as express lanes are added.
Q I just wanted to let you know that Bird Avenue between Willow and Minnesota in San Jose is so smooth now, it’s almost unrecognizable. The pavement was so uneven and the potholes were so bad, I had been avoiding that particular stretch of Bird for the longest time.
Now, if only the same could be done for The Alameda.
A There’s a problem with The Alameda?
Q The Alameda between Race Street and 880 is a disaster. I have driven smoother washboard roads. Sure they added center dividers, but they left the part that really needed the work: the deteriorating road. Is there hope or should I invest in a horse and cart?
A Nah. Paving will begin this summer.
Q I’ve been stewing on this for more than six months. The surface conditions for westbound Mission Boulevard in Fremont are atrocious. Not bad, but atrocious. Between the Warm Springs intersection and where the road passes under the new train overpass, there are killer potholes, large opening seams of roadway, etc.
Fortunately, I drive through this area during commute hours, when traffic is almost stop-and-go. This allows drivers to slowly “bounce” their way in, around and through this mess. At anything close to normal speeds, however, it can be scary as drivers swerve and brake and change lanes in a last-ditch effort to avoid hitting a road monster.
Is there anything that can be done about this? Very soon, preferably.
A Mission will be repaved where it is being widened west toward 880. Caltrans will look at other stretches near 680 to at least make some repairs.