About the East-West Connector Project
Learn about the East-West Connector by reading through these commonly asked questions.
Why is construction of the East-West Connector needed for the Station District?
The East-West Connector is a local roadway that is imperative to providing a second point of emergency vehicle access to the 1,700 units of high-density housing and future 1.2 million square feet of office that will soon be located in the Station District.
The roadway will provide direct connectivity from the east side of the Union City BART Station to the Dumbarton Bridge for express buses, bicycles, and pedestrians.
The East West Connector project is within the Dumbarton Corridor Transportation Program identified in Measure BB and is eligible to be funded by Measure BB.
Has the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) made a unilateral decision to reprogram Measure BB bicycle and rail funding to construct the East-West Connector?
ACTC did not vote to reprogram Measure BB Funds, nor will it do so at its March 22, 2018 meeting.
At the March 22, 2018 meeting, ACTC will be deciding how to move forward with the project. One of those options is to accept the recommendation of the ACTC Programs and Projects Subcommittee, which is to have Union City move forward with completing construction drawings for the East-West Connector, securing all regulatory permits to construct the road, and updating engineering estimates on the cost of construction. No additional authorization is needed to fund the engineering work as it is currently funded under the voter-approved Measure B and Measure BB.
Once all regulatory permits are obtained and the cost of constructing the East-West Connector is fully understood, ACTC may consider reprogramming some Measure BB funds. If this is the case, there will be a public process, which includes a 45-day comment period and a 2/3 vote of the full commission.
Will funding and construction of the East-West Connector impact the completion of the Station District?
Union City is committed to completing the Station District, a vision that has been developed and implemented over the last two decades thanks to the committed involvement of numerous public agencies and extensive input from the community along the way. Union City raised more than $160 million to remodel the Union City BART Station, build infrastructure in the Station District and construct affordable housing. The funding and construction of the East-West Connector is a key component in completing the vision of the Station District.
Improvements to the BART Station include: a widened southbound platform with escalators and stairs; solar collectors that power the BART Station are atop bus shelters; new larger elevators for commuters. A construction contract to widen the northbound platform with additional stairs and escalators will be issued this calendar year.
A recently constructed new east entrance will provide direct pedestrian and bicycle access from the new housing into the BART Station. A pedestrian crossing over the railroad tracks leading into the new east entrance has received required permits, is fully funded and construction will start within a year. Once completed, the new east entrance will open for service.
Union City was the lead agency in certifying the EIR to enable additional passenger rail to stop at Union City BART. In her capacity as an MTC Commissioner and an ACTC Commissioner, Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci has been the champion of keeping the Dumbarton Rail project a priority project for the region. The Dumbarton Rail project would provide direct rail service from Union City BART to the peninsula and Caltrain.
Mayor Dutra-Vernaci will continue her leadership role in working with the private sector, regional agencies, and state agencies to secure the funding for the track improvements to enable Dumbarton Rail, ACE, and Capitol Corridor to provide service to Union City BART.
Will funding and building the East-West Connector hinder Union City from constructing new bicycle and pedestrian paths needed in the future?
Union City remains committed to building bicycle and pedestrian paths. Union City has 6.9 miles of Class 1 bicycle paths and 27 miles of Class 2 bicycle paths. Over the remaining life of Measure BB, ACTC will provide $10.8 million to construct new bicycle and pedestrian paths. This bicycle funding source will not be reprogramed to fund the East-West Connector.
Union City has recently received a $7.8 million grant from ACTC for Class 2 bicycle lanes on Union City Blvd, which will complete the connection of bike lanes that run from the City of Hayward to the City of Fremont. Construction is scheduled to start in approximately one year.
The East-West Connector will include a dedicated Class 1 bicycle and pedestrian path, a Class 2 bicycle lane for commuters, and portions will have a Class 4 bicycle lane, which has a wider separation from the portion of the road used by cars and buses.
The bicycle paths will provide a safer, shorter and more direct bicycle and pedestrian access to Quarry Lakes and the East Bay Regional Park District trail system at Alameda Creek for Station District residents and workers. Without the Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle path paralleling the East-West Connector, Station District residents would have a much longer path of travel to regional trails along the existing bicycle lanes on Decoto Road and the required left turn onto Alvarado-Niles Road to access Quarry Lakes Regional Park and the Alameda Creek Trail.