As One Project Finishes, Another Starts3/3/2017 2:15 PM |
For residents and followers of Cupertino, this comes as no surprise: new development in the Cupertino area is increasing the need for transportation improvements to keep people moving and communities thriving.
Much of the development activity involves construction of new businesses and housing, particularly in the area of Wolfe Road and Stevens Creek Boulevard. Approved developments include the Hyatt House Hotel at Vallco Park, the Hamptons apartment complex and, of course, the Apple Campus 2, slated to open this spring.
Because of this growth, VTA and other agencies are working together to deliver transportation improvements for residents and commuters.
If you have been by Wolfe Road and Interstate 280 in Cupertino lately, you’ve seen construction occurring on the off-ramps from I-280 onto Wolfe Road. This involves a widening of the off ramps. This project is a direct response to the Apple Campus 2 and is being led by the City of Cupertino and Caltrans with funding from Apple. It is slated for completion in April 2017.
As this Apple and Cupertino-led project nears completion, VTA is embarking on a second project, in partnership with the City of Cupertino and Caltrans, around I-280 and Wolfe Road. It will be a more holistic approach to address both the new Apple campus and all the other future developments coming to the area. The improvements seek to:
- Reduce congestion
- Increase access for pedestrians and bikes;
- Promote transit and carpooling;
- Support nearby businesses and residents; and
- Deliver a cost-effective project
Some stakeholders have asked us why VTA didn’t start the project sooner. Until the approval of Measure B last November by Santa Clara County voters, there has been no dedicated local funding for highway improvements in this County for twenty years. In 1996, voters approved the Measure B Transportation Improvement Program - a half cent countywide sales tax dedicated to highway, county roads, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, and rail improvements. Since then, state funding for transportation has dried up, making it difficult to stay ahead of the congestion curve. As a result, there has been a much higher reliance in recent years on city governments and private companies to fund road improvements, such as the one Apple is funding in Cupertino.
With funding from Measure B, VTA hopes to gain momentum on the I-280/Wolfe interchange project. In terms of the timeline, the plan is to:
- Complete final design by fall 2020
- Begin construction by winter 2021
- Complete construction by winter 2023