Bridge toll dollars drive Dumbarton Corridor improvements

Port of Redwood City
MTC Commissioner David Canepa, MTC Executive Director Andrew Fremier, MTC Commissioner Gina Papan and Port Executive Director Kristine A. Zortman tour the Port of Redwood City in March.
Mark Prado

MTC has awarded a total of $130 million in Regional Measure 3 toll funds to advance nine different projects along or adjacent to the Dumbarton Bridge corridor spanning Alameda and San Mateo counties. 

The biggest of the commitments — announced last week — is an allocation of up to $48 million to the San Mateo County Transportation Authority and the City of Redwood City for their $300-plus million ‘101/84 Interchange Reimagined’ project. The 1970s era interchange between U.S. 101, State Route 84/Woodside Road and Seaport Boulevard marks the gateway to the Port of Redwood City. 

But it can no longer accommodate current traffic volumes, presenting challenges to roadway safety, freight mobility and rail movement. Redwood City and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority plan to start construction in 2027 on a series of safety improvements that will include more than four miles of new bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure as well as improved access for transit shuttles linking the Redwood City Caltrain station with a new ferry terminal planned for the Port of Redwood City.

“This is a shovel-ready project that will not only reduce congestion on Highway 101 but will also improve the operation of local streets, improve safety at train crossings and support the port’s continued growth,” said San Mateo County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner David Canepa. “By moving cargo used for construction projects throughout the Bay Area, the Port of Redwood City is a vital part of our region’s economic engine.”

Millbrae City Councilmember Gina Papan, who serves as the San Mateo County cities’ representative on MTC, made a similar point about a $5 million allocation of RM 3 money to identify a preferred alternative and complete pre-environmental planning for an estimated $150 million project to establish a dedicated busway from the west end of the Dumbarton Bridge to the Redwood City Caltrain station.

“Today’s investment keeps us on track to break ground in 2029 on a project whose benefits will extend far beyond Menlo Park and Redwood City," Papan said. "The efficiency improvements will make transit more attractive for both bus and train riders up and down the Peninsula.” 

Other commitments of RM 3 dollars approved today for projects in the Dumbarton Corridor include $5 million for MTC’s Dumbarton Forward initiative, which includes upgraded transbay bus service, traffic signal improvements along the Bayfront Expressway in San Mateo County, and bicycle access projects on either side of the bay. 

MTC awarded $25 million of RM 3 money to the City of Union City for its estimated $212 million Quarry Lakes Parkway project, which will build a new four-lane multimodal street from Mission Blvd./State Route 238 in Union City to Paseo Padre in Fremont. The new parkway, set to begin construction next year and to open to traffic in 2028, will include buffered bike lanes and a continuous multi-use trail. Union City also received a $3 million allocation for a one-year, $8.4 million project to build a new east entrance to the Union City BART station. Pedestrian access improvements will include an at-grade crossing of the Union Pacific railroad tracks. 

The City of Fremont received an allocation of up to $18.2 million for a $24.5 million project to modernize the Interstate 880/Decoto Road interchange and to complete environmental documents, purchase right of way and begin construction on a $46.8 million  project to improve Decoto Road between I-880 and Alameda Creek with dedicated transit lanes and multi-purpose paths in each direction as well as the addition of two protected intersections and upgraded lighting and traffic signals. Fremont expects to complete design by the end of this year and to open this portion of Decoto Road as a multi-modal complete street in 2027. 

Fremont also received $10.8 million in RM 3 money to build the second segment of the Dumbarton Bridge to Quarry Lakes Trail, which will extend from the Dumbarton Bridge Toll Plaza area to the Ardenwood Transit Center. Construction is slated to start  in 2026, with the trail opening in 2028.

The City of Newark will use its new allocation of $15 million in RM 3 funds for a three-phase project to upgrade Thornton Avenue between I-880 and State Route 84. This includes streetscape improvements in Old Town Newark and a complete streets treatment between Hickory Street and Gateway Blvd. 

Approved by Bay Area voters in 2018, Regional Measure 3 called for a series of three $1 increases in tolls on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges to finance a $4.45 billion slate of highway and transit improvements in the toll bridge corridors and their approach routes. The first of the RM 3 toll increases took effect in 2019 and the second in 2022. The third and final increase will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2025.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. 

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