Bernal Avenue on-off ramps at I-680 to be modified

Nighttime construction work will mean occasaional ramp closures through next February

Work will begin late Monday night, July 21, on major modifications to on and off ramps at the the Bernal Avenue interchange with I-680 to relieve rush hour backups.

Traffic engineer Ed Evangelista said the ramps will occasionally closed to traffic between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for nighttime construction work. Ramp closure dates and times will be posted in advance at the ramp entrances.

The approximate completion date for the project is February 2015.

Evangelista said the project will improve interchange operation and safety. At the I-680 northbound on-ramp intersection, one westbound through lane will be converted to a shared through/right turn lane to the northbound on-ramp to reduce vehicle queue and congestion.

At the I-680 southbound on-ramp, one westbound Bernal Avenue through lane will be converted to a second westbound left turn lane to reduce vehicle queue and congestion.

Also, the free running right turn lane from the I-680 southbound off-ramp to eastbound Bernal Avenue will be converted to a yield control to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. A sidewalk will also be constructed along the south side of Bernal Avenue between W. Lagoon Road and the northbound I-680 intersection.


Posted by Pam, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

If ever a freeway interchange deserved a 4-way cloverleaf, this is it. The traffic congestion caused by both the north and south-bound on-ramps has been horrendous for years (even before the Safeway shopping center went in). When I lived in the Country Fair neighborhood, I went to great lengths to avoid this area during commute times.

Posted by Half A Loaf, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:38 am

This interchange certainly needs improvement, but this work sounds like another of the misguided alterations where the City converts a through lane of traffic to a turn lane (usually with inadequate warning signage and the very-disruptive lane changes that result). This interchange needs ADDITIONAL lanes added so that there are two dedicated turn lanes at each on and off ramps, especially with the high-density housing that is being forced down our throats.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:50 am

It sounds like the work has already started!
The construction sounds fill the night time air 10:00pm to 5:00am.

They should construct a direct fly over ramp, into and out of the fair grounds.

Posted by Simple Minds, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

just a little tweaking of the signal light management would improvement this dramatically.

Posted by R, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:09 am

Now that you mention it- a little tweaking of all Pleasanton signals would be nice. How ridiculous is West Las Positas and Muirwood Dr signal. It changes green when no on is even there. You go over to Dublin and their traffic flow is great as their signals are not all on timers, they work with flow of traffic.

Posted by frustrated, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:40 am

If the West Las Positas ramps had been built, as originally laid out in the master plans, Bernal Ave. wouldn't be as impacted!!!

Posted by Linda , a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

This is so overdue. I feel it is dangerous trying to merge onto the freeway coming on from Bernal. Drivers in the right hand lane do not move over. Also during the fair the traffic was backed up past Stoneridge to exit at Bernal. This is unacceptable. Traffic lights on Bernal should have been adjusted to accommodate this and/or officers should have been directing traffic during peak times - like on weekends and the 4th evening. I had to go down to Sunol to exit a few times just to avoid this jam up.

Also I agree that the lights should be tweeked to go with the flow of traffic. Seems like I am waiting at a lot of lights when there is no traffic coming in any direction. Also the lights at Bernal and Valley should be adjusted accordingly. Too long of wait time.

Posted by Half A Loaf, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

The Pleasanton police used to do a much better job of managing the traffic flow, during the Fair, at Bernal and Valley. Then there was some sort of turf war, or cost-related issue, and the Alameda County Sheriff took over that responsibility. The Sheriff's office has done a horrible job at managing the traffic, they were practically non-existent. This year, they had a much better presence (i.e. more officers visible), but were still doing a horrible job. There seemed to be mostly riding around on their dirt bikes acting "impotent" -- all show and no action.

Posted by LaxDad3, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

LaxDad3 is a registered user.

Dear R:
You can report a traffic signal that is not operating correctly using the Pleasanton website "Contact Us" link. Last week I reported that the left turn signal at Foothill and Stoneridge would always go green even when no car was there. It was fixed the next day! I got an email from the engineer thanking me for the input and explaining what the problem was.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Turn off the damn metering light....problem solved, at least for the i680 southbound on-ramp. Anybody have a pair of $2 wire cutters?

Posted by D W, a resident of Livermore
on Jul 9, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Need a new 680-South off-ramp instead. Oh well - too much mula. We'll see how well this works.

Posted by Anthony, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Minor changes to the interchange will so nothing to alleviate the larger problem. Neither will the outlandish hundreds of million dollar suggestions that the above commentors posted such as flyover interchanges. Sure, you could spend millions or even billions of dollars to build this monstrosity, but for what? So you can have a nice view while you are merging in to the congested 680? The only real solution to these congestions problems would be increased transportation funding in Pleasanton and on 680. Express busses with dedicated lanes could run up and down 680 whisking people past traffic. Unfortunately Pleasanton seems to have a phobia of busses or anything other than their own vehicles. The fact that so many drove to the fair and spent a lot of money on parking and a lot of hassle sitting in traffic instead of a pleasant bike ride baffles me. The suggestion of a higher speed ACE train that would whisk people to their silicon valley jobs much faster than even a non congested 680 was rejected so quickly. Why is it that the only solution people think of is too build more interchanges or more freeway?

Posted by Traffic Engineers are Dumb, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 9, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Wait, they are basically re-striping a few lanes and this is going to take 7 months? WOW. Traffic engineers are probably the most clueless people on the planet. Just look at the mess they created with the 580 Eastbound exit to Foothill Blvd. Seriously WOW!

Posted by Half A Loaf, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2014 at 8:45 am

The current Pleasanton Traffic Engineer is especially incompetent. His signature accomplishments are incredibly poor timing of lights, through lanes that all of a sudden become turn lanes (with little warning), traffic circles/rotors, speed bumps for Black Avenue, endlessly repaving Santa Rita and Stoneridge while other streets desperately need repaving, and letting CalTrans hose traffic flow in Pleasanton. I think this dude was put in office by dingy Mayor Hosterman - another of her stellar accomplishments.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm

@Anthony...a few years ago the business parks consisting of what is now Tesla, Lam Research, and Fremont Bayside Technology Park, came together as a group to ask employees about an ACE Train to AC Transit bus service that would provide express bus service to and from the Fremont ACE station. The employees overwhelmingly supported this idea. But the Alameda County Transportion commission, of whom our former mayor was a commissioner, shot it down. So don't give us the BS that people need to get out of their cars and take public transportation. That can only happen if our elected officals actually do something that has the support of the commuters rather than spend money on stupid projects like this Bernal interchange fiasco which is nothing more than making a parking lot into a bigger parking lot.

Posted by Anthony, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm

@Bill... I agree completely, investment in transportation is critical to improving ridership. Whe projects like the AC transit express bus or the higher speed ACE train are struck down we set our commuters up for no options but driving (if you could call it that) down 680 to their silicon valley jobs. The problem is that when money is spent on highway projects instead of transit because of the justification that more people are driving this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm

"If the West Las Positas ramps had been built, as originally laid out in the master plans, Bernal Ave. wouldn't be as impacted!!!"

Frustrated -- You are right on!!!

Matt Sullivan, our local union shill and misguided former Council member, helped a handful of residents near the planned interchange in getting it removed from the General Plan. This was a huge mistake and we're paying the price now.

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