The long-awaited and often controversial extension goes back more than a decade and, at one time, was at the heart of political campaigns for City Council and regional agency posts.
The intersection project approved by the Pleasanton City Council on Tuesday will widen the busy Santa Rita/Stoneridge intersection to three lanes, adding new left and right turn lanes, better pedestrian pathways, a new bus turnout where passengers can board more safely, and a multi-phase, computer-operated signal system to give more time on what's likely to be a heavier-traveled Stoneridge Drive.
Traffic signals also will be installed at Newton Way, Guzman Parkway and Trevor Parkway, streets and neighborhoods that will see through traffic on Stoneridge for the first time when the roadway extension is completed. Sound walls in those neighborhoods will be improved or installed along with noise-lessening pavement between Santa Rita and Trevor.
The council awarded the contract to Carone and Co. Inc., the lowest competitive bidder for the work. The project is being funded entirely with various "non-city" sources, including funding from the Alameda County Surplus Property Authority paid to the city of Pleasanton to offset the cost of Staples Ranch traffic mitigations, as well as from other sources.
The extension of Stoneridge Drive will be completed and the roadway opened once work is completed on a new four-lane bridge now under construction just east of Trevor Drive. For years, a "Road Closed" sign as marked the end of Stoneridge at that point even though the city of Livermore completed the extension of Jack London Boulevard to El Charro last year.
When Stoneridge opens, motorists will have a new through street to drive between the two cities, a long anticipated, though often controversial goal of city and civic leaders. A main concern on the Pleasanton side is the possibility that commuters may use Stoneridge between the El Charro interchange at I-580 and the Stoneridge Drive interchange at I-680 to bypass the often-congested interchange of those two freeways, especially during rush hours.
Proponents of the Stoneridge Drive extension, however, have said the new roadway will provide faster, easier access for residents on both sides of El Charro to Pleasanton businesses where they work, ValleyCare Medical Center and now the new outlets shopping center at El Charro and I-580.