Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Vallejo wants to unclog Callaghan near Redwood Parkway

August 24, 2005

Vallejo wants to unclog Callaghan

By CHRIS G. DENINA, Times-Herald staff writer

RUSH HOUR traffic backs up Tuesday at the four-way stop at Admiral Callaghan Lane near Redwood Parkway in Vallejo. It's an intersection the city intends to improve. Photo: Mike Jory/Times-Herald

Highway 37 isn't the only Vallejo road getting a makeover.

City officials plan to fix up Admiral Callaghan Lane as well. On Tuesday, the City Council approved matters related to improving the road from Redwood Parkway to Rotary Way and from Tennessee to Henry streets.

The changes may not be as dramatic as the new Highway 37 overpass, which gives motorists a nonstop path through Vallejo, but travelers along a busy section of Admiral Callaghan Lane should get some relief from heavy, slow traffic.

"It gets pretty backed up during rush hour," City Engineer Gary Leach said Tuesday before the council meeting.

The projects are still in the early stages, but construction on the stretch near Henry Street could begin as early as next summer, Leach said.

That's a relief to Cheryl Garcia of Vallejo. She was doing laundry in the Safeway shopping center near Admiral Callaghan Lane and Redwood Parkway during Tuesday's evening commute.

"It's OK, but it's dangerous," Garcia said, noting that the intersections and freeway off-ramps on that stretch of Admiral Callaghan are poorly laid out.

From Redwood Parkway to Rotary Way, crews would overhaul the design of two intersections where motorists exit the freeway.

The council OK'd a fee increase for a consulting firm to design such fixes as modifying the off-ramps. SNG & Associates Inc. of Pleasanton tripled its original estimate to about $75,000.

"How could we have been so far off?" Councilmember Joanne Schivley asked at Tuesday's meeting.

Caltrans was supposed to help with the project but backed out because of a state budget crunch, driving up the costs for the city, said Leach.

About $463,000 is budgeted for the work.

From Tennessee to Henry streets, workers would repave the cracked road. The council approved earmarking about $41,000 in gas taxes to match a $315,000 federal grant the city wants to pay for the project.

Leon Singleton of Vallejo told the council it should extend repairs to other areas of Admiral Callaghan Lane, especially closer to Georgia Street. "Certain times of night, it's dangerous," Singleton said.

City officials propose several major changes to Admiral Callaghan Lane near Redwood Parkway. Interstate 80 motorists exiting the freeway eastbound at Redwood Parkway can only turn right at the bottom of the ramp. Plans call for allowing cars to continue north onto Admiral Callaghan Lane.

During busy commute times, traffic often gets clogged at the off-ramp to westbound Redwood Street. Plans include making the exit right-turn-only and adding a second lane. Officials say that should allow cars to directly merge onto Admiral Callaghan lane and ease the bottleneck.

The road is just too busy, the city's Leach said. In recent years, the intersections have become a major access route to the growing number of stores and homes in the area. The road needs updating, he said.

"There's just too much going on there," Leach said. "We're trying to eliminate a lot of that."

- E-mail Chris G. Denina at or call 553-6835.

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