Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Frazier votes ‘no’ on proposed bridge toll hikes

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) voted ‘no’ on SB 595, which would require the nine Bay Area counties to hold a special election, known as Regional Measure 3, to propose raising tolls on state-owned bridges in the Bay Area. After the vote, he issued the following statement:

“I recognize the need for funding transportation improvements, but after much thought, I believe adding another tax on commuters is not the answer. I ultimately voted NO on the bridge toll bill because $8 per crossing is just too much of a financial burden on drivers. If you commute from Solano County to San Francisco – entailing two bridge tolls that would potentially total $16 a day – that’s highway robbery.”

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Tri Delta Transit adds new circulator bus in downtown Pittsburg

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

They really do go everywhere, man!

The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority known as the Tri Delta Transit bus system, is launching a new downtown circulator route serving the downtown Pittsburg area. New Route 381 begins service September 25, 2017 and will travel between the Pittsburg Marina, through downtown Pittsburg, to Los Medanos College. So, now like their TV ad states they really do go everywhere.

The new route will be the shortest and quickest route in the Tri Delta Transit system. From start to finish, the trip takes only 20 minutes and operates every 30 minutes. “This is a terrific route to access many downtown restaurants and shops as well as big-name stores, and shopping centers in Pittsburg,” said Director of Marketing, Mike Furnary. “Route 381 will provide service to popular destinations including Los Medanos College, Wal-Mart, Atlantic Plaza, Pittsburg Health Center, The East Contra Costa Clinic, downtown Pittsburg, Pittsburg Marina, Pittsburg High School (Railroad Ave at School St.), City Park, Pittsburg Senior Center, Pittsburg Courthouse, and Pittsburg Library.” New Route 381 operates 22 times every day, Monday thru Friday. New bus stops will be added along Railroad Avenue in downtown Pittsburg offering pick up and drop off just steps away from many downtown restaurants and shops. New bus stops will be located on Railroad at 5th Street and 8th Street.

Route 381 will eventually serve Pittsburg Center BART, currently under construction. “For those in the area who currently use another bus route to Pittsburg Bay Point BART, they might be better served by Route 381 once the new station is operational,” said Furnary.

Route 381 is being introduced along with a newly revised schedule going into effect on September 24, 2017. In addition to new Route 381, one-time change is being made to the schedule. “We’ve made one adjustment to our Clockwise Route 383 serving Oakley and Antioch,” said Furnary. “This change will allow an earlier arrival at Freedom High School in Oakley, making Route 383 Clockwise a more reliable option for Freedom students.” Times on all other routes will not change from the previous schedule. To see times Route 381 will operate and all other bus schedules and times, visit Tri Delta Transit’s Web site at www.trideltatransit.com. New printed schedules will be available on buses the week of September 18, 2017.

Tri Delta Transit was named small bus operator of the year in 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association, the national representative for public transportation in Washington DC. They provide over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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Laser-equipped drone helps improve safety, efficiency on Hwy 4 improvement project

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Screenshot from drone video of construction work at the Highway 4 and Balfour Road interchange in Brentwood, Tues., Sept. 12, 2017. Courtesy of Alta Vista Solutions.

Emerging drone technology moves construction and engineering into the future

On Tuesday morning, September 12, 2017, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and Alta Vista Solutions showcased two emerging technologies on a construction project aimed to improve commutes on Highway 4 in Brentwood (aka the Bypass). Engineers piloted drones equipped with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) lasers–a surveying tool that uses a laser to create high-resolution geographical data.

The combination of the two emerging technologies has never been done in construction before and opens untold possibilities for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and related jobs in the future.  CCTA featured the system in action by providing a live feed of a drone flight.  The feed from this morning’s drone flight can be viewed at altavistasolutions.com/media – bar .

With assistance from engineering firm Alta Vista Solutions (Alta Vista), who proposed the new method, CCTA is flying the LiDAR scanners to measure the volumes of earth that need to be moved during this $74-million project to rework the Balfour Road interchange. The drones ensure that the cut-and-fill earthwork goes efficiently. With LiDAR’s pinpoint accuracy, CCTA can now make needed calculations and monitor site conditions faster, eliminating the unavoidable guesswork involved in manual surveys. Putting LiDAR on drones gathers 15 gigabytes of precise, high-quality data per month, cutting down drastically on time spent surveying. The drones also improve safety by taking workers out of live traffic.

Drone capabilities enable CCTA to track construction progress firsthand as work on Highway 4 continues.

“We are always looking for new ways to increase safety and efficiency on construction projects,” said CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki. “Drones give us aerial views of the site that were hard to come by before, making it safer for surveyors to do their job and helping us manage the large volumes of dirt that are being used to improve this intersection. This technology also allows us to monitor environmentally sensitive areas without disturbing the habitat.”

“This will change engineering and surveying,” said Ed Greutert, principal engineer at Alta Vista Solutions. “Innovations like combining LiDAR and UAVs are opening doors in infrastructure and making us efficient, effective, and safe in ways we couldn’t achieve before.”

Greutert also addresses fears of job loss as automation increases. “Using technology to do the surveying work can lead people to ask if this is the next step to the robot apocalypse – are drones going to take our jobs?” he speculates. “Not quite. It’s going to change jobs. It’s going to create new jobs in technology—and in the Balfour Road case, help people get to work faster.”

CCTA has faced challenges in being the first to test these technologies together.

“This has never been done. LiDAR on a UAV hasn’t worked until now – there are huge possibilities if we can be creative enough to really tap into them,” Greutert noted.

Handling the unprecedented quantity of data generated has also posed a challenge. However, in recent months, the team has succeeded in processing the hundreds of gigabytes collected.

“There are always challenges to pioneering new technology,” Iwasaki said. “But with the benefits this technology can provide in terms of keeping workers safe and managing a complicated construction project, I believe we’ll start to see more widespread use of drones on construction sites within a few years – especially as we discover new applications that can help save time and money. Right now, CCTA is excited to be leading efforts in this new frontier.”

About the Contra Costa Transportation Authority

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts.  CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go.  CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable.  More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.

About Alta Vista Solutions

Alta Vista is a California-based engineering firm that has been recognized as the 20th fastest-growing engineering firm in America by Inc. 5000 and was named by Zweig Group as one of America’s Hot Firms. Alta Vista has quickly differentiated itself by performing customized quality management strategies for some of the most complex infrastructure projects in the world. Over the past decade, Alta Vista has worked with public and private organizations to complete large-scale engineering projects that better serve their regions. Known for engineering services that include engineering, inspection, testing, unmanned aerial systems, quality management, and structural health monitoring, Alta Vista has grown and diversified and has been acknowledged in 2017 by ENR Magazine and other media outlets for using innovative solutions and technologies to deliver infrastructure projects faster, better and more cost effectively.  For more information about Alta Vista, visit altavistasolutions.com.

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BART reducing speed systemwide during heat wave until 8 p.m.

Friday, September 1st, 2017

As a precaution against potential rail movement, BART will be reducing speeds between noon and 8 p.m. on most outdoor parts of the system for the duration of this regional heat wave. Riders should anticipate travel time increases of 10 to 20 minutes.

BART is taking this unusual step in response to the extreme temperatures forecast for the Bay Area over the next several days. BART rail is heat-treated prior to installation, which allows for thermal expansion and contraction of the rail in the Bay Area’s widely varying temperatures.

However, when actual temperature variations reach extreme levels, the thermal forces exerted on the rail increase, making it possible—though unlikely—that there could be some rail movement. Train speeds are being reduced in targeted parts of the system as a precautionary measure to give Train Operators more time to react to any observed abnormal rail conditions.

BART anticipates these reduced speeds to be in effect through at least Sunday, though the final decision on the duration of these changes will be based on weather forecasts and observed track conditions on the BART system. 

As a reminder, BART crews will be rebuilding trackway in downtown Oakland during Labor Day weekend from the end of service on Friday through Monday, to make the system safer, quieter, and more reliable. No trains will run between 19th Street and Fruitvale stations or between West Oakland and Fruitvale stations and Lake Merritt station will be closed. Riders on the Warm Springs/So. Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton, and Oakland Airport lines will be impacted.

BART crews cannot complete these critical trackway repairs during the overnight hours when we are normally closed for maintenance, which is why we require this extra time. For more information on the track closure, please visit: http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2017/news20170814

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Traffic delays expected for Marsh Creek Road slope shoulder repair Sept 5-Oct 5

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform work on Marsh Creek Road from Deer Valley Road to the Clayton City limits, from September 5 through October 5, 2017. The work will occur Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to shape slopes, repair shoulders and erosion along the road edge. 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 of 10-15 minutes.

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Camino Diablo Road closure from Main Street to Byron Highway in Byron

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Construction of the Byron Highway and Camino Diablo Intersection Improvement Project is underway. The project will widen roadway pavement, install a traffic signal, sidewalk and upgrade the Union Pacific Railroad crossing on Camino Diablo.  Camino Diablo, from Main Street to Byron Highway, will be closed for the construction of the upgrades to the railroad crossing effective 3:00pm August 29th until 7:00 am September 28th.

Traffic will be detoured to Holway Drive for access to Camino Diablo and Byron Highway.  Drivers can expect delays. The project is funded by Federal Highway Safety Improvement Funds, Traffic Mitigation Funds, and Local Road Funds. Project completion is expected by the end of November. For project updates, visit the Public Works website at: http://www.cccounty.us/pwdmap.

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Marsh Creek Road repair work during daytime, Mon.-Fri. from July 10-20

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Expect delays

Contra Costa County Public Works Department will perform work on Marsh Creek Road from Deer Valley Road to the Clayton City limits from July 10 through July 20, 2017. The work will occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to shape slopes and shoulders along the road edge where mudslides occurred during the winter storms.

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 of 10-15 minutes.

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Public meetings and input sought for Plan Bay Area 2040

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy Final Environmental Impact Report

The Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) (SCH# 2016052041) for Plan Bay Area (PBA) 2040, the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)/Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) (proposed Plan) for the San Francisco Bay Area is available for review as of July 10, 2017. Additional information and notice of public meetings is provided below.

The proposed Plan is a regional strategy for accommodating household and employment growth projected to occur in the Bay Area region through 2040, and a transportation strategy for the region based on expected revenues. The primary objective of the proposed Plan is to achieve mandated reductions of greenhouse (GHG) emissions and to provide adequate housing for the projected 2040 regional population level pursuant to The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (Senate Bill (SB) 375, Statutes of 2008). The proposed Plan sets forth a transportation and land use blueprint for how the Bay Area can address transportation mobility and accessibility needs, regional housing responsibilities, economic conditions and forecasts, environmental concerns, and GHG emissions reduction requirements through the year 2040.

The region includes nine counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma) totaling approximately 4.4 million acres (7,000 square miles). In 2015, the region had 4.01 million jobs, 2.76 million households, and 7.57 million people. The proposed Plan would accommodate projected growth for an additional 688,000 jobs, 666,000 households, and 2.06 million people by 2040 with a transportation investment strategy of $303 billion. MTC is required under State and Federal law to update the RTP/SCS every four years.

The Final EIR includes the Draft EIR, a copy of each comment on the Draft EIR received by MTC/ABAG during the public comment period, responses to comments on environmental issues raised in those comments, and corrections and clarifications to the Draft EIR.

The Final EIR is now available for public review online at the web link listed below or a free electronic copy may be obtained by contacting MTC at the contact information provided below.

http://2040.planbayarea.org/reports

MTC Public Information
375 Beale Street, Suite 800
San Francisco, CA, 94105
415.778.6757 office / 415.536.9800 fax
eircomments@mtc.ca.gov

The document will also be available for public review in at least one library in each of the nine member counties. A list of library locations is available at the website listed below:

http://www.planbayarea.org/2040-plan/access-plan

MTC/ABAG will be conducting two public meetings to consider certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan. All interested agencies, organizations, and individuals are welcome to participate in these public meetings for the Final EIR. Oral comments will be accepted during these meetings.

July 14, 2017       

Joint MTC Planning Committee with the ABAG Administrative Committee (9:30 a.m.) at the Bay Area Metro Center – Board Room, First Floor, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. At this meeting, the decision-makers will make a recommendation to the MTC Commission/ABAG Executive Board regarding certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan.

July 26, 2017       

MTC Commission/ABAG Executive Board (7:00 p.m.) at the Bay Area Metro Center – Board Room, First Floor, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. At this meeting, a final action will be taken regarding certification of the Final EIR and adoption of the proposed Plan.

The following statement is required to be included in this notice: Pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15087(c)(6), the nine county Bay Area region contains hazardous waste sites as enumerated under California Government Code Section 65962.5.

Do you need an interpreter or any other assistance in order to participate? Please call us at 415.778.6757. We require three days’ notice in order to provide reasonable accommodation.

為了便於參加,您需要口譯員或其他任何協助嗎?請致電415.778.6757聯絡我們。我們需要提前3天通知才能提供合理的輔助服務

¿Necesitas un intérprete o cualquier otra asistencia para participar? Comunícate al 415.778.6757. Necesitamos aviso con tres días de anticipación para proporcionar asistencia razonable.

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