The Mercury News

680-880 freeway link won’t happen soon, but there’s hope

- Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat at noon Wednesdays at www. mercurynew­ Look for Gary Richards at mr.roadshow, or contact him at mrroadshow@ bayareanew­ or 408-920-5335.

QThere’s been talk in recent Roadshow columns about divebomber­s at the Mission Boulevard exit from Interstate 680 who want to get to I-880. The problem is that this short stretch of Mission should be converted to a freeway. I think this is planned, but when will this happen?

— Bill Stock, Emerald Hill

AFor the first time in decades there is hope of a 680-880 freeway link. Really. When Bay Area voters approved a toll hike on our stateowned bridges, this is one of the projects under considerat­ion in the $4.45 billion plan known as Regional Measure 3. It won’t happen anytime soon, but there is a flicker of hope.

QI got some good news and some bad, trashy news. First, the good news: Highways in the South Bay are not the trashiest in the state. But now, the bad news. I recently made a couple of passes through Bakersfiel­d on Highway 58 and, by far, it takes the honors for the trashiest highway I’ve seen in California. It’s got the usual trash that we also have, including plastic bags, bottles, paper, cardboard, tire scraps, etc. But in addition, its landscape is scarred by several dead trees and bushes resulting

from lack of water, and fire-burned trees left along the embankment. It all makes for a very sorry sight.

— Larry Castell,


AHighway 58 users, I am sorry for you folks. Those dead trees will be removed soon.

QMy blue plastic disabled person parking placard, which I hang from my car mirror, expired June 30. Whenever I park using the placard, I return to my car dreading that I will find the car ticketed for illegal parking in a handicappe­d zone or towed away.

— Bruce Schaefer,


ARest easy. The DMV sent out thousands of disabled parking placards last month. And hopefully yours will arrive soon. And AAA members can go to a AAA office to get a placard.

QWhen is the pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 in Palo Alto going to open? I thought it would be ready this summer.

— Fred Forbes, Palo Alto

ALate October is the new target date. Steel shortages, limited trucking capacity during the COVID-19 restrictio­ns, fabricatio­n limitation­s due to pent-up demand, and some design changes have caused the completion date to be pushed back.

QThe Three Creeks trail has been completed for some months with the new bridge across Los Gatos Creek, but it still hasn’t been paved between Lonus Street and Coe Avenue. Is that going to be done?

— Craig Foster, San Jose

AYes, most likely this fall, with the trail open for use by mid-February of next year.

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