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Also in this section:

Selection Criteria
Environmental Review Process
EIS Alternatives


Preferred Alternative for the East Span Project

render1.jpg (23402 bytes)Caltrans identified Replacement Alternative N-6 as the Preferred Alternative for the East Span Project in December 1998, following circulation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

Selection Criteria

The following criteria for selecting a Preferred Alternative for the East Span Project were developed:

  • Meets Caltrans criteria for designation as a lifeline route
  • Meets current standards for operations and safety to the greatest extent possible
  • Maintains the existing number of traffic lanes during peak hours and after construction
  • Does not preclude a pedestrian/bicycle path
  • Does not preclude future improvements to Yerba Buena Island (YBI) access ramps
  • Minimizes impacts to environmental resources
  • Provides a high level of visual quality
  • Is a cost effective solution

Features of Preferred Alternative

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The Preferred Alternative would construct a new bridge north of the existing bridge and would dismantle the existing bridge. The new bridge would be able to withstand a Maximum Credible Earthquake on the Hayward or San Andreas Fault with minimal structural damage.

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The new bridge would combine a single-tower, self-anchored suspension main span near Yerba Buena Island with a skyway span connecting to the Oakland shore. This design was recommended as the locally preferred option by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) after extensive reviews and public input.

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The span would consist of two side-by-side roadway decks, each with five traffic lanes plus 10-foot shoulders. The side-by-side configuration of the two decks would open views for both eastbound and westbound motorists, compared to the existing stacked bridge deck arrangement, which impedes views for eastbound motorists. Shoulders would improve operations by facilitating the removal of stalls and accidents from traffic lanes.

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The two parallel decks would transition to the existing double-deck structure at the Yerba Buena Island tunnel.

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The span would include a 15.5-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian path on the south side of the eastbound deck, raised one foot above the roadway.

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While the current East Span Project does not include rail, Caltrans is designing the bridge to facilitate the addition of light rail if it is deemed that rail is appropriate at some future date. In June 1997, MTC, representing the region, recommended that the bridge be designed to accommodate possible future rail service. MTC also noted that at this time there is no funding to provide rail on the bridge and that rail on the bridge is not in the Regional Transportation Plan. If rail is introduced, there would be one track of light rail and four lanes of traffic in each direction, i.e., conversion of vehicular lanes to rail. With substantial modifications to the structure, the bridge could be further modified in the future to provide five travel lanes and light rail. The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) is currently undertaking a Bridge Rail Alternative Study. Caltrans will be reviewing the study results as they are made available.

For more information on MTC rail studies, please visit MTC's Website.


Next Steps

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was released in May 2001. The FEIS provides updated information on the alternatives, impacts, and mitigation measures, and incorporates responses to public and agency comments on the DEIS. The FEIS is posted on Caltrans District 4 Website. The Notice of Availability (NOA) was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2001. The FHWA can file a Record of Decision (ROD) in the Federal Register after June 18, 2001. The ROD will close the NEPA environmental review process, explain the reasons for the project decision, and summarize mitigation measures that will be incorporated into the project. Construction of the East Span Project is targeted to begin in 2002.

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If you have comments or questions about the East Span Seismic Safety Project, mail them to:

Greg Bayol
Public Information Office
Caltrans District 4
PO Box 23660
Oakland, CA 94623-0660

or send your
comments via
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