Q There is a major dip across all three lanes on northbound Interstate 680 before you get to Mission Boulevard. Caltrans has laid asphalt at least four times and within months the dip is back. ... I-680 is a roller coaster between Scott Creek Road and Mission Boulevard in Fremont. Because of the ground settling, there are dips in the road that had been previously repaired and they are getting worse. When will something be done to smooth this out?
Michael Paccioretti, Jack Levy and countless more
A This summer. Caltrans' hydraulic and geotech departments checked out this area and found several dips in need of what they call foam injection. That's when a high-density polyurethane material is inserted as a foam through holes in the pavement to fill voids between the earth and bottom surface of the pavement panels.
Q I use the onramp to south 680 at South Mission in Fremont between 9 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. At this time the metering lights are on and usually quite slow, while traffic on 680 is usually flowing about 75 mph. How can we get Caltrans to turn off the metering lights earlier? They serve no purpose other than to waste time and fuel.
A We just need to ask. Dan's plea rolled in on Monday, and I contacted Alan-the-Caltrans-Metering-Man later that day. On Tuesday he replied:
"We completed our field investigation. Since the traffic volume on southbound 680 from Mission to Route 237 decreases after 9 a.m., we can end the metering operation at 9 a.m. Wednesday at several ramps."
This change only applies to ramps at Mission, Scott Creek Road, Jacklin Road and Calaveras Boulevard. The remaining ramps along southbound 680 will remain on until 10 a.m.
Q What kind of Bizarro universe have I fallen into? A California government agency taking (positive) action within 48 hours of a citizen griping? Must be a sign of the Apocalypse. Thank you very much.
A Thank Alan, who is one of Roadshow's best contacts and when he can deliver relief, he does.
Q I live in Hayward and the Hayward Loop looks like a total waste of time and money. It would have made more sense if the loop extended to 238/580 and then to Mattox Road and Mission Boulevard rather than down A Street, ending or beginning at the Jackson/Mission intersection. I see it as a toilet bowl or whirlpool that just cycles vehicles around but without being able to "flush or empty" them out.
And to add insult to injury, this loop is touted as a design to improve the flow of traffic. So what does one see on the mostly finished A Street section but parking spaces. Everyone knows that vehicles trying to pull in or back in or pull out of street parking will interrupt and slow down the overall flow.
Just my two-plus cents.
A An extended loop that you suggest was looked at, but the city found that this alternative did not appreciably improve traffic and in some instances made it worse, and the millions more needed for another option was not warranted.
A Street is not finished. The contractor has additional sidewalk work and final pavement overlay to complete. City officials also say the new look was not intended to speed traffic through downtown as no speed limits will be changed, but it should improve traffic flow through downtown.
Additional temporary parking was added to the west side of Foothill and the south side of A Street at the request of business merchants. This parking will eventually be eliminated.
The switch to the new loop should wrap up before Monday's morning commute. Check back in a few weeks and give me your impression then.
Q I read the article regarding the Hayward Loop with great interest, as my travels take me through the area frequently. It does not appear that one will be able to turn left from northbound Foothill onto A Street, nor able to turn left from Mission southbound onto Foothill northbound.
Should one miss a turn into the center of the downtown, either from inattention or being in the wrong lane, one must travel beyond A Street (northbound Foothill) or beyond Jackson (southbound Mission), find a place to make a U-turn and then get in the queue again. If this is so, who was obviously not thinking about this?
A You are correct in that you can't go from southbound Mission directly to northbound Foothill, but you can get to northbound Mission by using C or D Streets. Also, you can make a northbound left turn from Foothill onto A Street.
Q I'm a daily commuter to San Francisco and travel Interstate 280. The northbound section as you come down the grade just south of Highway 92 is getting really rough, particularly the No. 3 lane. There is a fracture zone here which affects both sides of the road and the southbound side was repaved a few months ago. Any idea when the northbound side will be fixed? ... What about the potholes on 280 from 92 to San Bruno? I know where every pothole is, both north and south, and know when to swerve to miss them. Probably look like a drunk driver! When will this be taken care of? ... A big thank you to Caltrans for filling in the car-eating dip on the ramp between 101 south and 92 west. But why-oh-why is the new asphalt on 280 south of 92 already falling apart? It's got big chunks torn out in several places.
Tim Prowten, Dennis English, Laura Holt and many more
A Caltrans crews will be out filling potholes, and they have permanent repairs planned in the next few months.
Go to Roadshow's expanded online presence at www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow and look for rules of the road, construction updates and favorite stories. Follow Gary Richards at twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-920-5335.