Metropolitan Transportation Commission eNews November/December 2013

  • by BPC Staff
  • on November 25, 2013
In This Issue
Caldecott Fourth Bore Provides Relief to Drivers
New Cordelia Truck Scales Tackle Congestion
Bridge Troll’s New Haunt Is Oakland Museum
Bay Lights Bright All Night
New Bridge Inspires Diverse Range of Art Exhibits
Get Wet and Wild on the Bay Area’s Newest Trail
Clipper Commemorative Cards Celebrate New East Span
Drive Smart With 511
New on Video
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parkingCaldecott Fourth Bore Provides Relief to Drivers   


Elected officials and young artists cut the ceremonial ribbon on the Caldecott Fourth Bore.
Photo by Karl Nielsen


The brand new Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel opened to traffic Saturday, Nov. 16, bringing much anticipated congestion relief to the 160,000 commuters who drive daily through the tunnels. At a sunny ceremonial ribbon cutting the day before, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty elicited cheers from the 200-plus crowd when he announced that the bore would open the next day. On site for the celebration were local, regional, state and federal officials — and a half dozen kids who proudly showed off the decorative medallions they designed to adorn the east and west portals of the new bore. MTC was a major funder of the $417 million project. Read more.  


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Real511New Cordelia Truck Scales Tackle Congestion  

A truck drives over a new weigh-in-motion scale.
Photo by Karl Nielsen 

The new eastbound truck scales and associated inspection facility along Interstate 80 at the Cordelia Junction in Solano County have made a dramatic difference for truckers and commuters in the four months since they opened. MTC contributed $49.5 million to the project, which was a response to congestion issues at the previous scale site and a projected increase in traffic on the major truck route in upcoming years. The makeover includes five weigh-in-motion scales, and the new inspection center’s whopping 29,000 square feet dwarf the old facility’s 3,550 square feet. Read more.


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parkingBridge Troll’s New Haunt Is Oakland Museum

Blacksmith Bill Roan reunites with his Bay Bridge troll at the Oakland Museum. Photo by Karin Betts

The ultimate fate of the now-famous Bay Bridge troll is still to be determined, but he has a temporary new guard post. The steel creature — rescued from the old East Span before demolition began — has taken up roost at the Oakland Museum’s Gallery of California History. Created by local blacksmith and artist Bill Roan, the troll was secretly installed on the old span after the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, where he warded off danger for the next 24 years. He’ll be on view at the museum through February 26, 2014, in conjunction with the natural history exhibit “Above and Below: Stories From Our Changing Bay,” which features a replica of the troll (his twin brother) as well. The exhibit is co-sponsored by MTC. Read more.

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parkingBay Lights Bright All Night    


Nighttime workers and revelers who traverse the Bay Bridge in the wee hours are guided home by the warm glow of the Bay Lights, which are now “on ’til dawn!” That means the bridge’s West Span is now illuminated by artist Leo Villareal’s mesmerizing LED installation from sunset to sunrise. If you’re up early — or late! — enough, be sure to catch the artist’s new morning sequence.



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parkingNew Bridge Inspires Diverse Range of Art Exhibits 


“Crossing Over” by Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine is currently on view in the MTC cafe and lobby.

The new Bay Bridge East Span is a work of art in and of itself, but it has also served as a muse for a diverse collection of Bay Area artists. At MTC alone, six current shows explore the old and new bridges — as well as the Bay surrounding the structures — through a variety of media. There’s “Crossing Over,” Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine’s innovative look at the construction of the bridge, which fuses  analog photography with a digital editing process. “Bay Bliss: Bridges, Skylines and Animal Life” features the multimedia work of the participants

Martin Chandrawinata’s “Through an Engineer’s Lens” is open through January 10, 2014.

of Artful Steps, a program that serves East Bay adults with developmental disabilities. In “Walking the Bay Trail: A Photo Journal,” Kurt Schwabe documents his ambitious month-long trek around the entire Bay in vibrant photographs. Martin Chandrawinata’s pictures invite viewers to explore the East Span through the lens of an engineer who knows the structure intimately.

Coming up in January: “The Bridge Builders,” featuring Joseph A. Blum’s photos of the laborers who erected the new East Span. Read more about these shows and others here.



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Get Wet and Wild on the Bay Area’s Newest Trail

The Water Trail features launching and
landing points for kayakers
Photo by Laura Thompson

First there was the Bay Trail and the Ridge Trail. And now there’s a third regional network in development to explore the Bay Area via nonmotorized means: the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail. The series of five (plus more to come!) launching and landing points give boaters and windsurfers easy access to the Bay. Designated Water Trail sites include the Tidewater Boating Center on the Oakland Estuary and Ayala Cove on Angel Island. State Coastal Conservancy grants will allow the Association of Bay Area Governments to continue to add and improve launching and landing sites.


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parkingClipper Commemorative Cards Celebrate New East Span


The sleek white East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge pops against the classic Clipper© blue background on the transit card’s latest edition. Keep an eye out for the special commemorative cards, which have started showing up at retailers — including the Bay Crossings store in the San Francisco Ferry Building and the Clipper kiosk at the Embarcadero BART station — and online just in time to stuff stockings.  

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parkingDrive Smart With 511



511 has launched a new Smart Driving pilot program — and you may be eligible to participate. Drivers who commute by car in the Bay Area and use an Android smartphone with a data plan can sign up to test out apps aimed at improving driving habits and fuel efficiency. The first 250 applicants to qualify will receive a $40 bonus gift card. More info on eligibility and the application process can be viewed here.


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parkingNew on Video   
  • Demolition of the Bay Bridge’s old cantilever East Span began on the 77th anniversary of its grand opening. Mark Jones was there to document the process.     

  • The white bridge is going green. Watch Mark Jones’ video of the “big, bold, beautiful” palm trees that now line the westbound approach to the new East Span.
  • The Bay Area’s up-and-coming environmental heroes talked climate change and alternative transportation at the inaugural Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference. Watch the highlights

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