Pleasanton's Mayor Jerry Thorne led it off by opening the final leg of Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road, a roadway with 22 traffic lights that now extends from Livermore on the east to Foothill Road on the west. First planned in 1989, the street provides faster access to medical facilities and to hundreds who commute to jobs in both cities. Although mostly a four-lane thoroughfare, gripes from homeowners along the route persuaded planners to restrict traffic on the bridge over the Arroyo Mocho, Pleasanton's longest bridge, to two lanes. That could change someday since the bridge was built to accommodate two lanes in each direction.
Also officially opened Friday was Stoneridge Creek Pleasanton, the first new continuing care retirement community to be built in the East Bay in decades. Patriotic fanfare and cheers from more than 600 new residents and their families, special guests and local government officials made for a festive two-hour-long ceremony and buffet lunch.
Mayor Thorne spoke at this opening day ceremony, too, praising Troy Bourne, vice president of planning for Stoneridge Creek, for his perseverance over seven years of public meetings, planning sessions and environmental reviews. Also on stage were State Senator Ellen Corbett and County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who was a driving force in the county's efforts to see the 124-acre Staples Ranch that Stoneridge Creek partially occupies annexed into Pleasanton.