Canyon Bridge. Instead of awaiting a new permanent bridge, the town of Moraga is planning on installing a temporary one-way bridge to replace the existing one that was irreparably damaged by earth movement and rains this past winter. This is not only good news for the tiny town of Canyon, which is now isolated from Moraga by the lack of a functioning bridge, but also for cyclists because the new structure is currently set to be up by mid-September. We shall see. Before the bridge can be constructed the plan will undergo environmental scrutiny and mitigation and also have to get clearance from Caltrans. Unfortunately this is long after the 2017 Orinda Pool Party is scheduled to take place, so we will have to go with alternate routes.
Morgan Territory Road. We’re getting into the hot season over here in Contra Costa and not ideal weather to take on Morgan Territory Road. Nevertheless we may have a repaired road by the end of July. The slide repair is scheduled to begin—finally!—in July. This will require that the road be shut down although a temporary access road is in the works using Leon Drive. Unfortunately this goes through the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and so the Sheriff is issuing temporary passes to those eligible to use it, namely residents, and whether anybody else can go through the Detention Facility grounds is unknown. But it looks like the general public will not have access.
Alhambra Valley Road. Repair to the major washout of Alhambra Valley Road started on June 12 and is expected to run to the end of September. A new 60-foot bridge with shoulders for cyclists and pedestrians will be included. Here’s hoping that the Three Bears will be open in time for the Fall Social!
Palomares Road, Redwood Road, Calaveras Road. All are still closed with NO estimate on reopening (and in the case of Calaveras, if ever).
Skyline Boulevard (HIghway 35). Several sections of Skyline Boulevard over on the Peninsula failed this past winter but by far the worst was at Mile Post 10.5 where a 50-yard length of roadway slid down the hill. There is no reconstruction of the old roadway planned. Instead a new alignment into the hillside will be constructed along with a robust retaining wall. Caltrans hopes to have the road open by the end of 2017.
SMART Train. So things didn’t go as planned and the Sonoma-Marin trainline didn’t open this spring as was hoped. Federal approval of SMART’s safety new high tech safety system, “Positive Train Control”, which automatically stops the train if it detects a potential collision, is not in place yet. The original plan was to have free fares from the spring opening until July 4. Now that that is impossible SMART is going to offer free preview rides. The first one took place today; the next two are on Saturday July 1 and Tuesday July 4. For those two days there will be three trips offered from the Sonoma County Airport station to the Marin Civic Center (for the Marin County Fair). You can see the schedule here. Additional preview dates for the subsequent weeks will be announced. Note that it’s first-come, first serve. There is no word on whether bikes will be allowed on these preview rides.