Interstate 880 Northbound Safety and Operational Improvements at 23rd and 29th Avenues
Oakland, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: Alameda CTC
Lead Design Firm/Structural Engineer: Michael Baker International
General Contractor: RGW
Civil Engineer: Diablo Engineering Group
Subconsultants: AECOM; ARWS; Earth Mechanics; Haygood & Associates; URS; WMH
Subcontractors: ABSL; AC Dike; ACL; Bay Area Drilling; Berco, Brown & Fesler; Central Striping Service Inc.; Cleveland Wrecking Co.; Con-Fab California LLC; Contractors Chemical; Decker Landscaping; DYWIDAG-Systems International Group; Systems International Inc.; Griffin Soil; Harris Rebar Northern California Inc.; Imperial Shotcrete Inc.; Municon; R E Serrano Inc.; S Kwok Engineers Inc.

A major commuter route, I-880 is the most heavily used corridor in the Bay Area for moving goods. It also connects the Port of Oakland with Silicon Valley. High traffic, bad geometry and interchange spacing as well as short weaving distances contributed to deficient traffic flow and high accident rates.

To improve movement, the project team executed a five-stage plan that included ramp and intersection modifications and reconstruction, overcrossing structure replacements, a new soundwall and redirection of regional traffic out of the neighborhood.

Relocating utilities was a challenge because the area hadn’t undergone major construction in many years and utility companies did not have comprehensive records. The project team coordinated with various utilities to compile documentation, hold dedicated utility meetings and complete extensive potholing during design.

The team also dealt with poor soil conditions. That led to the innovative use of expanded polystyrene blocks as fill for the abutment structures. The strong, lightweight solution allowed construction to proceed without waiting for soils to settle. Crews also added wick drains, which accelerate consolidation of soil. Those solutions shaved nearly 12 months off the schedule.

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