July 2013       
In This Issue
Trekker Circles Bay in 30 Days
Plan Bay Area: What We Heard
Bay Bridge East Span Update
Toll Plaza Facelift
Bridge Builders Photo Exhibit
Caldecott Fourth Bore
goBerkeley Launched
High School Interns
2012 Annual Report
What's New on Video
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parkingIntrepid Trekker Circles the Bay in 30 Days   


Schwabe (center, holding dog) and other well-wishers celebrate after
he completed the last portion of his trek on June 29.

Photo by Kingmond Young 

Armed with a Clipper Card and a new boxed set of Bay Trail maps, trekker Kurt Schwabe set out on May 31 this spring to tackle the entire Bay Trail by foot. One month and 314 miles later, the experienced outdoorsman completed his ambitious quest, walking the last leg on June 29 together with his wife, friends and supporters.


Each day, Schwabe hiked a portion of the loop around the Bay, returning home to blog about his journey at night. He traveled back and forth between his San Francisco home and the trailheads via public transit and with the help of a Clipper® card supplied by MTC. On his website, he chronicled his encounters with wildlife in Alviso and raved about the burgers in Belmont -- and invited readers to venture out on the trail with him. "The focal point of this journey was about bringing the Bay Trail and its sights, sounds and smells to you," Schwabe wrote after conquering the final stretch. "To inform, inspire and encourage you to explore your own backyard in ways you previously had not imagined -- and to do so on public transportation (preferably with a Clipper card), not your car."

Read more about Schwabe's trek and the tools you can use to embark on a similar journey

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parkingPlan Bay Area: What We Heard  


Plan Bay Area Logo

Following the release of the Draft Plan Bay Area and its companion Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) this spring, MTC and ABAG solicited a third round of public comments on the far-reaching regional growth and sustainability plan. This round included nine open houses, 12 public hearings, 12 focus groups, an online public forum and a public opinion telephone survey.

MTC and ABAG are gearing up for the adoption of Plan Bay Area at a special joint meeting on July 18, which includes two public hearings. Listen in via webcast here.


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Bay Bridge East Span Update  
© 2013 Barrie Rokeach
Crews in recent months removed the above-deck scaffolding on the new Bay Bridge East Span, revealing the graceful tower and network of cables that are the hallmarks of the signature self-anchored suspension span (SAS). But more work is ahead, including the installation of a major retrofit for seismic gear affected by a batch of faulty high-strength steel bolts.


While fabricators have been working in Vallejo and Alabama on a steel saddle to replace the clamping power of the damaged bolts, crews have been prepping the affected area for the fix. Go to baybridgeinfo.org to view a report on the bolt issue released on July 8, 2013, and to keep abreast of plans for opening the new East Span. 

Bay Bridge Workers
Crews on pier platform, working on the bolt fix.
Photo from Caltrans files. 

Bay Bridge Toll Plaza Gets Facelift 

The sparkling white facade is revealed as scaffolding is removed at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza in May.
The new and improved Toll Plaza is clad in "Bay Bridge White."
Photo by Karl Nielsen 

The Bay Bridge toll plaza is ready to show off its new look after nearly a half year of construction. The $6.5-million makeover and safety upgrade will complement the design of the new East Span.


Working at night so as not to disrupt daytime commuting, crews applied pre-painted white aluminum panels to the toll plaza canopy and painted the toll booths, columns and traffic islands the same white. The color -- "Bay Bridge white, as everybody's now calling it," according to MTC Associate Project Manager Stephen Baker -- matches the toll administration building that was completed in 2011 as well as the tower, cables and deck sections of the new East Span.

The toll plaza changes are not only cosmetic. New crash cushions were installed on either side of the canopy and the road was repaved and restriped. Next up on the region's workhorse bridge is installation of new automated toll-collection equipment, work that will require lane closures and continue through the end of August.

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parkingA Rare Look at the Bay Bridge Under Construction, Then and Now

c 2013 Joseph A. Blum
© 2013 Joseph A. Blum 
Photographer Joe Blum used to be a boilermaker and a welder, so he knows well the human labor and dedication that go into building a gargantuan structure like the Bay Bridge's new East Span. When Blum began bringing his 35 mm Nikon camera to the construction site in 1998, it was the people behind the project that immediately captured his interest. His new San Francisco Arts Commission photo exhibit The Bridge Builders showcases the men and women who worked diligently on the East Span, and is on view at SF City Hall through Sept. 27, 2013. 

Also on show this summer is a selection of Peter Stackpole's historic photographs of the Bay Bridge under construction. See the black-and-white pictures from the 1930s in the Oakland Museum of California's Gallery of California Art July 20 through Jan. 26, 2014.
Stackpole: Bridging the Bay is part of the museum's ongoing exploration of contemporary California.

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Caldecott Fourth Bore Enters Final Construction Phase
Crews install jet fans in new Fourth Bore of Caldecott Tunnel.
Photo by Karl Nielsen 

Crews are putting finishing touches on the Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, which is now 80 percent complete and on track to open later this year.  

Now that the bore's walls are fully lined and the roadway is paved, crews are adding modern safety features and beautifying the massive addition to the tunnel complex along Highway 24 in the East Bay. Photographer Karl Nielsen 
recently captured the installation of mega jet fans that will clear the air in emergencies in the 3/4-mile bore, as well as the fabrication and placement of intricate student-designed medallions that will decorate the east and west portals of the bore. Tunnel crews will test and install
Caldecott Tunnel Medallion Insertion
Caltrans workers install one of the student-designed medallions atop the Fourth Bore.
Photo by Karl Nielsen 

additional fire prevention systems in coming months. The new bore is designed to alleviate congestion from Orinda to Oakland. Catch more of Neilsen's photographs of the project on MTC's Facebook page, and read Caldecott Tunnel updates on our website.  


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Real511Innovative Program Combats Traffic and Pollution in Berkeley  

Already green Berkeley is getting a little greener
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates launches goBerkeley. 
Photo by Karl Nielsen
thanks to a two-year pilot program launched in late June to combat congestion and air pollution in the city's busiest commercial districts. Branded "goBerkeley," the cutting-edge initiative will provide more sustainable travel choices to residents, businesses and visitors. The program contains three core elements designed to encourage use of alternative modes and alleviate traffic congestion in Berkeley. AC Transit will provide 1,000 free one-year passes to employees of businesses in Berkeley's commercial areas. City CarShare will add locations and vehicles, and provide up to $200 in annual discounts to businesses. The city of Berkeley will implement parking management initiatives, including dynamic pricing. MTC helped fund the program with $2 million from its Climate Initiatives Program. Read more and watch Mayor Tom Bates' speech here. 


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parkingHigh School Interns Arrive at Bay Area Agencies 


High school interns participate in team-building activities at June orientation. 
Photo by Craig Raphael

There are a lot of new, young faces at our sister agencies this summer. The 47 MTC paid high school interns -- selected from a whopping 700-person applicant pool -- are ready to learn the ins and outs of the transportation field. They have been placed at city and county public works and planning agencies, as well as at public transit operators. This summer marks the 13th anniversary of the program, which gives youths first-hand exposure to public service and transportation. Read more here. 


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parkingMTC's 2012 Annual Report Showcases Leaps in Bay Area Regionalism 


Now available online and in print, MTC's 2012 Annual Report is chock-full of fascinating regional history -- as well as promising plans for the future. "Building One Bay Area" features a sneak peek at the One Bay Area sustainability initiative's exciting plans to renovate a San Francisco building that will serve as a new regional agency headquarters. The report also includes an illustrated timeline of the Bay Area's sustainability and regionalism efforts and MTC's latest financial statements. Take a look here.  


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parkingSee What's New on Video  


Bike to Work Day 2013 

Thousands chose to pedal instead of drive on May 9 to celebrate Bike to Work Day 2013, including MTC Commissioner and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and MTC Commissioner and Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd. Videographer Mark Jones captured the spirit of the region's 19th annual Bike to Work Day, which is sponsored by MTC, along with other partners.


The Making of Medallions

Videographer Mark Jones was on the scene in Gilroy as artisans unveiled the student-designed medallions that will grace the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore.


Bay Trail Trekker

Kurt Schwabe's quest to circle the Bay on foot is chronicled in two videos by Mark Jones. 


Watch more of the latest video news on our website or YouTube channel


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