Q Are they planning to rejigger the entrance to the middle bore of the eastbound Caldecott Tunnel when they open the fourth bore? It seems that this is why there is always some backup, as the curves at the entrance are awkward. A straighter shot would move things along better.

Rob S.

Lafayette

A Indeed it would, and you'll like this. Yes, it will be straightened out, and this should be a huge help in an awful afternoon commute.

Work on the tunnel is about 80 percent complete, and the opening of the fourth bore is scheduled for later this year. Crews have been installing electrical and drainage systems, completing a retaining wall and paving. Up next is the installation of the tunnel's fire and life safety systems.

D.C. lawmakers and Bay Area voters, take a bow. The roughly $400 million project got $180 million in stimulus funds, which was the largest stimulus-funded transportation project in the country when awarded in 2009. It also received $123 million through Measure J, a half-cent sales tax passed by Contra Costa voters in 2004, and $50 million from higher bridge tolls approved by regional voters. An additional $50 million in federal and state aid also came in.


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Q Is there any chance for carpool lanes on northbound Interstate 280 on the mid-Peninsula? I've been carpooling between San Bruno and Stanford for about 30 years. Until recently, it's generally been a not-bad commute (except for during the first dot-com boom, when heavy traffic made our commute time more than double). Now, traffic isn't too bad in the morning southbound, but in the evening, northbound is just one bumper-to-bumper crawl. Why is the commute so bad only in the evening? During the first dot-com boom, traffic was horrible in both directions. It sure makes me wish there was a carpool lane!

Heidi Beck

San Bruno

A Bad news. The extension of the carpool lane on I-280 into San Mateo County is not in the Bay Area's long-range master plan. The focus is on extending carpool lanes on Highway 101 from Whipple Avenue toward the San Francisco County line.

There are always more cars on the road in the afternoon, and the crawl you now endure is also due to more companies along I-280 hiring more people and perhaps more drivers trying to avoid the mess on 101.

Q When I drive south on Interstate 680 between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., there are usually big rigs lined up at the top of the Sunol Grade all the way down toward Fremont. They're on the shoulder. Why do they do this? What are they waiting for?

Traci Cook

Pleasanton

A Some truckers use this wide area to park and rest before making deliveries or pickups in the South Bay. But it's not OK for them to park there, and the CHP periodically clears the area. Shift sergeants will be notified they are parking here again.

Q I am curious if you have any updates regarding the opening of the new onramp from Yerba Buena Road for northbound Highway 101. You stated a few weeks ago that it would open Aug. 8. It hasn't. The opening of the southbound offramp of Yerba Buena has significantly eased congestion, and I am very anxious to see the opening of the northbound onramp.

Barry Wong, David Bui and many more

A There was a slight slip in the schedule, and the new onramp to northbound 101 from Yerba Buena and new northbound 101 exit to Capitol Expressway is now slated to open on Aug. 26.

Around October, the southbound 101 ramp from eastbound Capitol will open and demolition of the old loop ramp will take place.

Before Christmas, the Valley Transportation Authority expects to have new railings and sidewalks on the Capitol bridge over 101 on both sides, with landscaping to follow. Most of the work should be done early next year.

Q I don't know about future 49er traffic fears when the new stadium opens, but last Friday we left the Great Mall in Milpitas at 5:30 p.m. taking Highway 237 to 101 to attend the Luke Bryan show at Shoreline (a distance of about 15 miles). We got to the venue 21/2 hours later at 8 p.m. -- one hour after the show started. And that's the truth!

Darlene Ristrim

San Jose

A All Roadshow readers only state the truth, and Darlene's journey took on another twist.

Q Just an example of how bad the traffic was came when two men in a pickup ahead of us jumped out, ran into the bushes, and by running were able to catch up with the pickup (no kidding). There were no traffic accidents; just s-l-o-o-o-o-w traffic.

Darlene Ristrim

A When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Q Coming home from Yosemite on Interstate 580 into Livermore, I noticed that the lane dividers were black stripes instead of the normal white striping until near Pleasanton. Why black stripes?

Don Senger

Martinez

A This area is under construction, and these stripes are temporary. Caltrans sometimes uses black stripes because the concrete slabs are white and the white can be hard to see at sunrise or sunset on freeways that run east and west. So they'll use black stripes with white raised markers. The idea is that the black stripes will help with the glare during the day and the white raised markers will help at night.

When work ends, the freeway will be overlaid with good old black asphalt and the white stripes will be back as before.

You can find Gary Richards' columns at www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow or at www.mercurynews.com/traffic. Follow Mr. Roadshow at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.