Dublin: Popular I-580/680 bypass road to close for up to seven months


Photo Courtesy of Minesweeper

Sam Richards,
East Bay Times

Anthony Jurado had bought the house on Tassajara Road just a month before a stranger knocked on his side door and told him that, soon, the road in front of his house would close for seven months a few miles to the south. It wasn’t welcome news.

“I’m a contractor, so I’m never going to impede anyone from building anything,” said Jurado, realizing the trip between his current Pleasanton home and future Tassajara home was about to get a lot longer. “But yes, it’s definitely inconvenient.”

The Tassajara Road/Camino Tassajara route connecting Dublin, Danville and San Ramon will be closed from May 2 through early December to replace a culvert at Moller Creek at the north end of Dublin and rebuild the road there. This will also close a common bypass route for drivers avoiding the interchange of Interstates 580 and 680.

“Our goal is to be finished by Dec. 1,” said Linda Smith, Dublin’s assistant city manager. “We’ve built time into the schedule to allow for weather (delays), so we’re hoping the reopening’s a little sooner.”

The replacement of a 9-foot diameter, 140-foot long pipe carrying the creek under the roadway with an 18-foot diameter, 400-foot long culvert will require the full closure of the roadway, City Engineer Andy Russell told the City Council recently, in part because of the area’s environmental sensitivity.

“There will be a 100-foot hole where the roadway is today to allow for construction of the culvert,” Russell said.

The creek is typically flowing during the rainy season, and two weeks ago had a small flow. It is usually dry during the summer and fall. The city has been working with state Fish and Game and the Regional Water Quality Control Board as well as with local officials from various agencies to make the work possible.

“We’ve been talking about this culvert for a couple of years now, and now it’s coming true,” said Dublin City Councilman Kevin Hart.

With the fairly deep cut for the creek in that spot and little lateral room, there is no practical way to build a temporary road around the work.

The much longer replacement pipe is for the expected day, years from now, when the two-lane Tassajara Road becomes a four-lane road. The work should also help physically fortify the roadway itself, which suffered a sinkhole in that spot in 2010, Smith said.

The culvert replacement is a condition of approval for the Moller Ranch subdivision of houses, which would be built a short distance to the east along the creek. As mentioned above, in addition to complicating the drive for residents who live near the culvert work, the closure will take away a popular “back door” commuter route for drivers looking to avoid the I-580/680 interchange area between Contra Costa job centers and housing in Alameda and San Joaquin counties. That commute traffic is significant enough to warrant regular attention from the California Highway Patrol, and CHP Dublin spokesman Officer Derek Reed said local patrols figure to be adjusted accordingly when the construction work begins.

“We figure it will put more traffic on 680 and on the ‘Highland Route,’ and we’ll go from there,” said Reed. The latter route is Highland Road east from Tassajara (north of the culvert work) to either Collier Canyon Road or North Livermore Avenue to I-580.

Another alternate route for residents north of the creek is Windemere Ranch Road west from Tassajara, which connects with Bollinger Canyon Road (to I-680) and with Dougherty Road, which connects with I-580. For people south of the culvert work living near Tassajara Road looking to get to I-680, the quickest way is probably taking Tassajara south to I-580, and then west to the 580/680 junction.