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Broadway exchange enters final phase: Officials hopeful interchange is soon completed, not all merchants satisfied
April 20, 2017, 05:00 AM By Austin Walsh Daily

Portions of the Broadway interchange connecting Burlingame to Highway 101 will be closed for construction this weekend as crews expect to soon begin the final phase of work.

Construction equipment readies underneath the pedestrian crossing near Broadway. City officials are hopeful to complete the project by this summer.

Construction to iron out kinks at the heavily-used exchange linking Broadway in Burlingame to Highway 101 is beginning a final phase and officials are hopeful the project is nearing completion.

To set the stage for the final block of work, the Highway 101 ramps at Old Bayshore Highway will be closed between 10 p.m. Thursday, April 20, and 6 a.m. Friday, April 21. Drivers seeking highway access will be rerouted to Millbrae Avenue, which will also be the recommended course for Bayshore hotel access.

Andrew Wong, the city’s senior civil engineer, said while he understands the construction could cause inconveniences, he believes the most intense stages of the work is nearly over.

“Big changes are coming at the end of the month. Things are opening rather than closing,” he said, while adding a majority of the progress will be contingent on weather conditions.

Another round of road closures is scheduled the following weekend, as officials are hopeful to remain on track for completing the project by the end of the summer, said Wong.

Not everyone is pleased with the progress though, as some merchants in the nearby shopping district on Broadway are frustrated with the hurdles presented by the ongoing work.

Gerald Weisl, owner of Weimax Wine and Spirits, said a confusing maze of lanes and stoplights has been created for drivers accessing the intersection from either direction.

“It’s configured poorly for motorists who are trying to navigate onto the freeway or exiting 101,” he said in an email.

He cited the difficulties associated with seeing traffic lights posted on the northbound exit from Highway 101 or congestion commonly forming near the southbound ramp entering Broadway as examples of the challenges facing drivers.

Working through the variety of issues usually takes an extra five to 10 minutes, said Weisl.

The intersection can also be confusing for pedestrians wishing to cross the street near Rollins Road he said, as crosswalk lights are not clearly marked and some of the walkways near the overcrossings are closed.

Not all merchants are dissatisfied with the progress, as John Kevranian said he has heard positive reviews from shoppers who are pleased with some of the improvements.

Kevranian, who owns Nuts For Candy on Broadway, said he believes the project will ultimately make the nearby shopping district a more appealing destination.

During earlier phases of construction, Kevranian had said some of the work may have harmed local businesses as patrons were likely more inclined to stay away from congestion caused by the ongoing work.

He said he looks forward to the transition to the final phase, in hopes of the project wrapping up in the next few months.

The Broadway intersection, built in 1947, is the oldest along the Peninsula. It was rebuilt in 1971, and seismically retrofitted in the 1980s. Nearly 225,000 cars are on the interchange daily.

Once completed, the new overpass will offer a wider structure with more lanes, reconfigured ramp connections, new metering lights and retaining walls, a reworked intersection at Rollins Road and Broadway, along with other improvements.

A majority of the money for the existing project comes from Measure A, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, which is responsible for about $51 million of the construction cost. Another $23 million came courtesy of the state, Burlingame contributed about $5 million and $3 million was offered by the federal government.

Wong said following the upcoming closures, a majority of the most intensive work will be completed and mostly only aesthetic improvements will remain. Electronic signs have been posted near the intersection notifying drivers of the changes coming this weekend.

Looking ahead though, Weisl said he remains skeptical about traffic flow through the area with a Caltrain grade separation project likely on the horizon.

“If people are frustrated now by the inefficient thoroughfare, wait until we have a grade separation … at Broadway and California Drive,” he said.

austin@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 105

 

 

Tags: broadway, project, highway, intersection, million, construction,


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