Improvements are coming to ease congestion along Central Avenue between Jacuzzi and Pierce Streets, a popular means of access to the I-80 and I-580 freeways, commercial centers in Richmond and El Cerrito, and the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) in cooperation with the City of Richmond, the City of El Cerrito, and Caltrans has collaborated to evaluate potential transportation improvement to ease congestion along the Central Avenue corridor. The benefits, impacts and costs of numerous alternatives were examined, and these two projects were selected among them.
The first of two projects will begin construction in spring 2017. It will prohibit left turns onto the westbound I-80 on-ramp to San Francisco on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. which was found to be the most congested period throughout the week Electronic message signs will redirect drivers to the I-580 eastbound ramps at Rydin Road and traffic signals will replace the all-way stop signs there and at the I-580 westbound ramps. The project also includes installing 21 curb ramps to meet the American with Disability Act (ADA) requirements. The CCTA is the agency responsible for completing final design, conducting a “before and after” traffic study to determine the project effectiveness, and administering the construction phase this coming spring.
The second project will improve traffic flow along Central Avenue by moving the signals to increase space between signal intersections and prohibit left turns from Central onto Pierce Street to reduce through-traffic backup. The traffic signal at Central Avenue and Pierce Street will be removed and access from Central to Pierce will be restricted to right-in/right-out, with no left turns allowed. A signal and left turn only lane will be added to accommodate left turns into and out of Pierce Street at San Mateo Street. Comprehensive environmental studies on this second project are expected to start in 2017.
More information is on the CCTA website. You can also contact the City of El Cerrito Engineering Division at 215-4382 or email for more information.