Motorists and residents wondering when the Oregon Expressway traffic crawl will come to an end should get relief by early September, when a years-long traffic-flow improvement project is slated to be completed, said Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department Project Engineer Craig Petersen.
The construction project, which was first proposed in 2008 and approved by the city in 2009, will replace 50-year-old traffic signals along Oregon Expressway from U.S. Highway 101 to Alma Street and along Middlefield Road from Garland Drive to Marion Avenue. The road's need for signal-timing changes to speed traffic flow and safety features for pedestrians and bicyclists is the major catalyst for the project, which since its proposal has been heavily debated and publicly vetted.
The project contract was finally awarded to Hayward-based Golden Bay Construction, Inc. in June 2013, and construction was to be completed in February. But the work came to a crawl last fall and this spring after a subcontractor failed to perform.
At times, one lane has been closed for roadwork during non-peak weekday hours, causing traffic backups.
The county has "lit more of a fire" to get the job completed, and work is now picking up, Petersen said. "The curb is in now and the median paving is done. They are standing up poles (for the lights) and looking at switching one signal on next week," he added.
Additional poles still need to be added; there is also underground wiring, striping and road surfacing that needs to be completed.
The signals will be switched to their new configurations as they are installed. The first signal change will be at the intersection of Cowper Street, Petersen said.
The county posts project updates and a lane closures schedule online on a weekly basis. View them here.