New auxiliary lanes being built on 101

Crews to break ground today on stretch of Highway 101

Caltrans crews today will break ground on a project to build auxiliary lanes along a three-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 101 in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto.

The new auxiliary lanes will be built along north and southbound Highway 101 between Marsh Road in Menlo Park and University Avenue in East Palo Alto, Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.

The project, which is scheduled to be completed at the end of summer 2012, includes replacing a pedestrian overcrossing at Ringwood Avenue, Haus said. Caltrans will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the project at 9 a.m. at 190 Independence Drive in Menlo Park.

Caltrans District 4 director Bijan Sartipi, San Mateo County Transportation Authority chairwoman Roseanne Foust and Metropolitan Transportation Commission chairwoman Adrienne Tissier are among the local officials expected to attend.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by how much?
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2011 at 9:29 am

How much money is this costing? Is it paid for by gas taxes or from the general fund?

Like this comment
Posted by Peter K. Mueller
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

Would be nice if the news item could says what this is construction is designed to accomplish.

Like this comment
Posted by pedestrian
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

How long will the Ringwood pedestrian bridge be closed for? What detours will be available during that time?

Like this comment
Posted by driver
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 20, 2011 at 10:55 am

Hopefully this will widen the bottleneck at the confluence of University, Oregon Expressway, and Embarcadero-- one of the worst traffic spots in the south bay.

Like this comment
Posted by commuter
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

When the Bay Bridge had major problems a couple of years ago, much of the traffic changed to the Dumbarton Bridge via Marsh Road from 101 south. After the Bay Bridge was back at full use, the Marsh Road traffic never went back to their old route. It's very slow in that area. However, I don't know why it would take so long to add a lane on each side, unless they are adding some overpass.

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Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I don't know details about the San Mateo County part of this project, but the Santa Clara County part is 3.2 miles long and will cost over $100 million: $84.9 million in Corridor Mobility Improvement Account (CMIA) Funds, $17.3 million in VTA Local Program Reserve Funds. See:
Web Link

I expect that the San Mateo County part will be higher in cost because of the bike/ped bridge that needs to be replaced. The source of fund for the accounts above would take some research to determine, but it is almost certainly not entirely from gas taxes and most likely includes a fair amount of general fund money.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

There's a very strange dogleg marking on the lanes on 101 SB which could be a potential danger with no apparent reason or warning.

Like this comment
Posted by Edward
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jul 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

$100,000,000.00+ for 3 miles, for two lanes. Sounds like a rip-off to me. We've been building highways for decades and have all the machinery and equipment and know-how. It seems to me we should be able to lay these things down in weeks.

Aside from that, with all the talk of getting people out of their cars widening the freeway sends the exact wrong message. On top of that where ever roads are widened, ostensibly to ease congestion, new development always pops up thereby negating, and thereby, more often than not, exacerbating congestion.

$100+M is a huge waste of money for two strips of asphalt.

Like this comment
Posted by tax payer
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

$100 million for 2 new lanes is a bargain. Didn't that Carmageddon project in LA cost $1 BILLION for only 1 new lane?

I do have a problem with using sales tax money for this project, though. Road projects should be funded by gasoline and auto registration taxes only. Subsidizing these projects with general fund money is stealing from needy projects like schools and law enforcement.

Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2011 at 6:17 pm

This is NOT adding a full lane in each direction. An "auxiliary" lane only goes from on-ramp to off-ramp and does not go under the overpasses. These lanes just allow more distance for merging on and off the freeway. One of the reasons the cost is so high is because they need to do this without severely interrupting the use of the freeway, which means a lot of expensive night work.

I don't mind spending general fund money on worthwhile transportation projects. If we start fine-graining the sources of transportation funding it just sets all the different constituencies at each other's throats, and the result can be uqly. If you have ever been riding a bike and had some a**hole yell at you to get off the road because you don't pay gas tax you know what I mean.

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