State Route (SR)239 is defined in state statute as a corridor “from Route 580 west of Tracy to Route 4 near Brentwood,” and in federal earmark language as “from State Route 5 in Brentwood area to I-205 in Tracy area.” The precise location of any constructed facility within the corridor is yet-to-be determined, pending completion of a major study effort initiated by Contra Costa County in 2009.
Contra Costa County is the recipient of two federal appropriations through SAFETEA-LU totaling $14 million for studies and construction of State Route 239. The County set aside approximately $3.6 million of this amount for the Corridor Study. The use of the remaining $10+ million will be determined as part of the study.
In 2010, the County released a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposal (RFQ/RFP). That process led to the selection of Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. (PTG) as the most qualified consultant team to conduct the study. Following an extensive negotiation process, the County entered into a consulting services agreement with PTG on May 10, 2011.
In January 2012, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) assumed responsibility for overseeing consultant work on the planning phases and future activities for the development of State Route (SR) 239. During 2012, significant progress was made on developing background information, meeting with various stakeholders, and preparing for the feasibility study and public outreach effort that is now about to launch.
Before construction can begin, planners and engineers must undertake an extensive three phase planning effort: 1) Planning, 2) Project Approval/Environmental Document; and 3) Project Development. The scope of services for the existing contract with Parsons is limited to Phase 1 – Planning. The Planning phase includes stakeholder identification and outreach, developing an interagency structure for the consensus-building process, extensive background research, technical analysis, development of various alternatives, production of a Feasibility Study that will examine those alternatives and result in consensus on a preferred alignment for SR 239, and the development of a Project Study Report (PSR) based on the preferred alignment identified in the Feasibility Study.
One of the key documents developed recently, is the Study Impetus Statement. This document identifies five key areas for consideration and discussion of the SR-239 (TriLink) Study:
- Regional Connectivity – The TriLink study will examine access, congestion, and demand issues in an effort to improve the transportation link between eastern Contra Costa County and Tracy. Proposed improvements could potentially mitigate congestion on the I-580 and Vasco Road.
- Planned Development and Job Realization – Development in the study area is constrained by growth policies, such as the urban limit line, environmental constraints, and agriculture lands. The TriLink study will explore opportunities for access improvements for pedestrians, bicycles, auto, truck, and transit that are supportive of and facilitate planned growth in the study areas.
- Roadway Safety – The TriLink study will look at opportunities for addressing roadway safety by implementing current design standards which demonstrate safety benefits and re-routing potential future truck traffic to roadways built to a more appropriate design speed to address safety concerns in the study area.
- Emergency Response – SR 239 could serve as an evacuation route facilitating access to and from regional centers of urbanization.
- Goods Movement – The commercial, industrial, business park, and residential developments planned for the study area will increase the demand for goods movement. The lack of an effective connection between western San Joaquin County and eastern Contra Costa County will affect the efficient movement of freight as freight volumes and traffic increase.
The PTG, in partnership with the stakeholders and constituents along the corridor, will address the issues and needs associated with each of these areas. The consultant team will develop a range of multi-modal alternatives with the ultimate objective of establishing consensus on a preferred alignment for SR 239
Future outreach activities include:
Public workshops in Brentwood, Mountain House and Tracy – Spring 2013
Council, Board presentations – Summer 2013