The spaghetti mess that is the I-80, I-580, and I-880 interchange in Emeryville will not be messed further, as Caltrans is shelving the plan amidst pretty near-unanimous local opposition.
Remember that apocalyptic prediction we made a month ago about the three years of nightmarish traffic snarls that would accompany the proposed MacArthur Maze rebuild? Those apocalyptic predictions are no longer operable! We’re happy to inform East Bay commuters that the plans to rebuild the MacArthur Maze have been shelved, according to KPIX, as Emeryville and Oakland officials objected to the the combination of humongous traffic backups, and semi trucks driving on small two-lane streets.
“It would have had a horrific effect,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This would be a huge amount of traffic, including diesel trucks, going onto the roads of West Oakland, which already has issues of air quality.”
Some fairly hilarious ineptitude on the part of Caltrans also cemented opposition, and doomed the overhaul.
“I came home one night in March, and there was a notice in my mailbox about a public meeting on a ‘negative declaration’ involving the MacArthur Maze,” Emeryville city councilman John Bauters complained to the Chron. “But it was sent out a week after the meeting had occurred.”
Caltrans was still in the process of choosing between different proposed rebuild plans, all of which would have raised underpass heights so tall semi trucks could drive those highways without making the detours they have to make now. But the environmental reviews for each plan routed I-80 caliber traffic onto little local streets, and Emeryville and Oakland residents were none too thrilled.
“After listening to this feedback, the decision has been made to pause the environmental process,” Caltrans announced. “After April 24, 2019, we will review all of the feedback we have received and will determine what additional information and analysis is needed to address the questions and concerns submitted.”
So the MacArthur Maze rebuild could still happen in some future revised form. But considering that the concrete is randomly falling on cars at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge some 20 miles away, Caltrans might not really need another huge project on their plate.
Related: No, It's Not Just You: Bay Area Traffic Reaches Record Highs [SFist]