Q I know a project is underway to widen Isabel Avenue (Highway 84) in Livermore from Jack London Road to Vallecitos Road, but what I don't know is how many lanes the final product will have. Will the widening extend to Ruby Hill so we have at least two lanes each direction from Jack London to the Pigeon Pass summit? And are there plans to widen the rest of 84 from Pigeon Pass to I-680?
A This is a key route used by many in the South Bay to avoid the dreaded 580-680 interchange. Caltrans says work on widening Highway 84 to three lanes each way from Jack London to Stanley Boulevard and two lanes each way from Stanley to Concannon Boulevard could be done by the end of this year. Then next summer Caltrans will install four lanes from Concannon to Ruby Hill.
The one downer: While there are plans to widen 84 from Pigeon Pass to 680, there's no money to do that. A ballot measure is being considered to widen this stretch.
Q On Interstate 680 north in Fremont where the Hayward Fault crosses the freeway, in the number 2 and 3 lanes, there was an almost unbearable dip in the road. But in the last couple weeks it has virtually disappeared. There are survey and construction paint marks along where the dip used to be, but no new pavement. How did they repair this section of freeway?
A Carefully. The dips just north of Scott Creek Road in Fremont were repaired last month using a deep injection process through the surrounding soil employing a high-density expanding polymer. Holes 5/8-of-an-inch were drilled through the pavement and a high-density polymer foam was injected under the road.
The foam expands and hardens, creating the necessary lifting forces. The pumping unit employed in this process provides a regular rate of injection, and the amount of pavement can then be controlled to prevent overfilling.
Also, as the polymer liquid foam expands through the soil, the surrounding area becomes denser and restores load-bearing capacity, voids are filled, any trapped water is dispersed and leaking pavement joints and cracks are sealed.
Q If the new carpool hours listed on many highways (5 a.m. to 7 p.m.) apply only in the event of a BART strike, how do we know what the current hours are? What kind of enforcement will there be? ... What about carpool hours on I-80 from Hilltop to the Bay Bridge?
Carl Medford, Arian Sarris and many more
A Folks, this situation has not been handled well by the state. The almost all-day carpool times will go into place only if there is a BART strike. I've had local traffic engineers call me and ask what is going on. It would have been better perhaps to leave the existing signs uncovered and just use the electronic freeway signs and portable signs to warn drivers of a potential change.
Q I frequent a Starbucks in Fremont where its parking lot is too small for the amount of traffic. I've seen many near-misses when people pull out of the lot, so I started parking with my rear end in first. This way I could pull out easily and it's much safer. My cousin told me that it's illegal to park like that, but I am not sure. I might get free coffee from him to prove him wrong.
A Enjoy your coffee. Parking rules don't apply in private parking lots except for fire lanes, disabled parking, etc. But some lots, like those at Valley Medical Center in San Jose. may post signs banning rear-first parking, so be careful.
Q How long does it take for a ticket from the Golden Gate Bridge to arrive in the mail? I crossed it more than three weeks ago and still haven't seen the bill.
A It should take about 14 days but sometimes can take longer if the plate is read incorrectly. Drivers can call the call center at 877-229-8655.