Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Fleet of the Future BART cars to be assembled in Pittsburg

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Fleet of the Future BART car at the Pittsburg assembly plant during the recent press conference. Photo by BART.

Bombardier Transportation announced it is opening a rail car assembly site in Pittsburg, California to assemble BART’s Fleet of the Future rail cars.  This work, which is currently taking place in upstate New York, will be transferred to the Bay Area over the coming months.

The new facility will employ local workers, contribute tax dollars to the local economy and, thanks to its proximity to BART’s Hayward Test Track, greatly reduce the vehicle emissions needed to transport the cars to BART property.

What used to be a 3,600-mile journey home to the Bay Area, will now be a quick 50 miles.

It also means local jobs.

“It’s Bay Area workers building cars for Bay Area commuters,” said BART Director Mark Foley. “Bringing the work home.”

Watch the Press Conference

Riders are giving the new trains high marks for its new features and design. The customer survey results were unveiled at a recent Board meeting. The vast majority of features received at least 85 percent “Excellent” or “Good” grades.

Some of its most well-received features were the ease of on-board and off-boarding the train; lighting; audio announcements; floor-to-ceiling poles; comfortable air temperature; and digital displays.

BART’s website dedicated to the Fleet of the Future has lots of great information about the status of the roll out. They keep it updated with the number of new cars delivered to date and the number in service.

A Fleet of the Future tracker is in the works that will show you if one of the next approaching trains at your stations is a new train. That feature will roll out in phases, to eventually include digital platform signs, bart.gov, and the BART Official App, which you can download for free.

 

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Guardrail repair work on Vasco Road June 3-6

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

The Contra Costa County Public Works Department will repair guardrails on Vasco Road from Camino Diablo Road to the Alameda County line. The work will occur from June 3rd – June 6th between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The work may be rescheduled based on weather conditions. Electronic message boards will alert drivers of the scheduled work. There will be traffic control through the work area and drivers can expect delays.

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Byron Highway safety improvements construction to begin June 5

Sunday, June 2nd, 2019

Contra Costa County Public Works will begin construction on the Byron Highway Traffic Safety Improvements Project. The project consists of an asphalt overlay on Byron Highway between Byron Hot Springs Road and the Alameda County line, restriping the centerline to feature double yellow no-passing lines and a centerline rumble strip, and replacing striping and pavement markings. Additionally, all signs along Byron Highway will be replaced to meet new reflectivity standards. The total project length is approximately 3.8 miles.

Construction will begin on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, with completion in late July 2019, barring unforeseen circumstances. Work hours will generally be in the evening from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am to minimize impacts to commute traffic. Drivers can expect delays of up to 15 minutes during construction.

Funding for this project is provided by the Highway Safety Improvement Program, and gas tax revenues provided by the SB1 Road Repair and Accountability Act. More information for this project can be found at http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.

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Construction to begin on Marsh Creek Road Monday

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Public Works Department will begin construction of the Marsh Creek Road Traffic Safety Improvements project. The project will consist of installing a centerline rumble strip, restriping of the centerline, and traffic sign replacement and upgrades along the 14-mile stretch of Marsh Creek Road between the Cities of Clayton and Brentwood. Improvements will also include a streetlight installation on a wooden pole, and two solar flashing beacons at the intersection of Marsh Creek Road and Deer Valley Road.

Construction will begin on Monday, May 20, 2019, with completion by July 1, 2019, barring unforeseen circumstances. Drivers can expect traffic delays up to 30 minutes. Work hours will be 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to minimize impacts to commute traffic.

Funding for this project is gas tax revenues provided by the SB1 Road Repair and Accountability Act and the Highway Safety Improvement Program funds. More information for this project can be found at http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.

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Maintenance work on Vasco Road May 28-30

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform roadwork on Vasco Road from Camino Diablo Road to the Alameda County line. The roadwork will occur from Tuesday through Thursday, May 28-30 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

The roadwork will consist of replacing the delineators, debris removal and street sweeping. The purpose of the delineators is to increase driver awareness and safety when travelling through this commute corridor. The work may be rescheduled based on weather conditions. Electronic message boards will alert drivers of the scheduled work. There will be traffic control through the work area and drivers can expect delays.

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Marsh Creek Road closed from Clayton city limits to Morgan Territory Road

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

By Steve Padilla, Director Contra Costa County Public Works Department

March 6, 2019, Clayton, CA – Marsh Creek Road is closed in both directions, between the Clayton city limits and Morgan Territory Road due to rock and mud slides.  We anticipate re-opening the road by early afternoon. Please take alternative routes to avoid this area.

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Frazier supports Gov. Newsom’s announcements on high speed rail, Delta Tunnels

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

Assemblyman Jim Frazier

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, released the following statements on Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his first State of the State Address before a joint session of the Legislature.

“Governor Newsom inherited a high-speed rail project that is a mess. He showed he is ready to step up and take the reins as a leader, recognizing there needs to be wholesale changes. I appreciate his realistic and common-sense approach to this project.

The governor also has a soft spot in his heart for the intellectually and developmentally disabled and recognizes that we need to step up our game to better support the special needs community.”

The governor also announced he will appoint a new member to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors, with the expectation the new appointee will become chair. Frazier responded with the following statement:

“I applaud the decision to appoint Lenny Mendonca to the High-Speed Rail Authority Board with the governor’s intention that Mendonca become chairman. An investigation by State Auditor Elaine Howle revealed a pattern of repeated failures at the Authority, under the direction of current Chairman Dan Richard, with hundreds of millions in cost overruns and a lack of honesty and transparency. That is just one reason I have been advocating for a change in leadership. I have high hopes for Mr. Mendonca to lead the High-Speed Rail Authority to complete the scaled down project the governor outlined in his State of the State Address today. A change of leadership at the HSRA was long overdue.”

Regarding Newsom’s announcement on scaling back the twin Delta tunnels to a single tunnel project, Frazier, whose district encompasses a large portion of the Delta, issued the following statement:

“I’m grateful Governor Newsom has been willing to listen to local stakeholders in the battle for the future of the Delta. His unequivocal denunciation of the twin tunnels project is a step in the right direction. I look forward to working with the governor to convince him there are alternative water delivery solutions that are economical and can be delivered in a timely manner, nullifying the need for even a single tunnel.”

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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New Year means higher tolls on seven Bay Area bridges beginning Tuesday

Monday, December 31st, 2018

Bay Bridge Toll Plaza photos taken 9 /16 & 18/13. Karl Nielsen Photography, www.karlnielsenphotography.com, (805) 570-3395

First of three voter-approved increases

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) reminds drivers that several important changes take effect Jan. 1, 2019, at the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges. These include the first of the $1 toll increases approved last year through state Senate Bill 595 and confirmed by voters through Regional Measure 3 in June 2018. This will mark the first toll hike at the state-owned toll bridges since 2010. Additional $1 increases will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, and on Jan. 1, 2025.

Regular tolls for two-axle cars and trucks (as well as for motorcycles) at the Antioch, Benicia-Martinez, Carquinez, Dumbarton, Richmond-San Rafael and San Mateo-Hayward bridges will rise to $6 from the current $5 on Jan. 1, 2019.

At the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, regular tolls will climb to $7 from the current $6 on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During weekday off-peak hours from 12 midnight to 5 a.m., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to midnight, Bay Bridge tolls will rise from $4 to $5; and on Saturdays and Sundays, Bay Bridge tolls will increase to $6 from the current $5.

Tolls for vehicles with three or more axles also will rise by $1 on Jan. 1, 2019, at all seven of the state-owned toll bridges: to $16 for three axles, $21 for four-axles, $26 for five axles, $31 for six axles, and $36 for combinations with seven or more axles.

Senate Bill 595 continues the peak-period toll discount for motorcycles, carpools and qualifying clean-air vehicles crossing any of the state-owned toll bridges on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The discounted toll is scheduled to increase to $3 on Jan. 1, 2019, from the current $2.50. To qualify for this discount, carpoolers, motorcyclists and drivers of qualifying clean-air vehicles must use FasTrak to pay their tolls electronically and must use a designated carpool lane at each toll plaza.

Senate Bill 595 also established a 50-cent toll discount for two-axle vehicles crossing more than one of the state-owned toll bridges during weekday commute hours of 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. To be eligible for the toll discount, which is to be applied to the second toll crossing of the day, motorists must pay their tolls electronically with FasTrak. Carpools, motorcycles and qualifying clean-air vehicles making a second peak-period toll crossing in a single day will qualify for an additional 25-cent discount off the already-discounted carpool toll. The two-bridge discount will not be available to drivers who use cash to pay their tolls.

New FasTrak customers can obtain toll tags at hundreds of Walgreens and Costco stores around the Bay Area. A complete list of participating locations — as well as an online enrollment and registration feature — is available on the FasTrak Web site at bayareafastrak.org. Customers also may enroll in the FasTrak program by phone at 1-877-229-8655; by calling 511 and asking for “FasTrak” at the first prompt; or in person at the FasTrak customer service center at 375 Beale Street in San Francisco. Operating hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. FasTrak can be used in all lanes at all Bay Area toll plazas.

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 BATA formally approved the new toll schedule through adoption of BATA Resolution No. 128 at its regular December meeting. The Authority today also adopted BATA Resolution No. 129, which authorizes arrangements for the escrow of Regional Measure 3 funds pending the resolution of two lawsuits challenging state Senate Bill 595 and Regional Measure 3. Both lawsuits are pending in Superior Court in the City and County of San Francisco. Under BATA Resolution No. 129, the Regional Measure 3 toll increases, when collected, will be placed into an escrow account managed by an independent trustee. Following a process similar to voter-approved sales tax measures that face legal challenge, these funds will be transferred at least once each week from BATA to a Union Bank (Mitsubishi United Financial Group – MUFG) trust account, where the funds will be managed by a bank trust officer until final resolution of all litigation. Once the BATA legal team certifies there is a final resolution, the Authority will be asked to release the escrow. If BATA prevails in the litigation, the funds will be applied to BATA-approved programs. If BATA should lose the litigation, the funds will be reimbursed to tollpayers.

BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges. Toll revenues from the Golden Gate Bridge are administered by the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, which joined with BATA to operate a single regional FasTrak customer service center in San Francisco. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

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