Interchange more than 30 years old, not built for the volume of traffic it’s seen

Hey, Answer Man.

Myself, several friends and as you tell from the traffic, thousands of others commute daily from Hollister and points south into South County and Silicon Valley. The morning commute is not terrible, the coming home is a nightmare. The traffic backs up on the shoulder of U.S. 101 for those trying to merge onto Highway 25. Is there anything being done to alleviate that dangerous scenario?

Dear stuck in traffic. There is some good news. but first some background. That interchange is more than 30 years old, and not built for the volume of traffic it’s seen, especially in recent years. The various kinds of traffic: commercial, commuter, and recreational vehicles, paired with high rates of speed have resulted in above-average accident rates near that interchange, and if you have ever driven in that area at commute times, you know tremendous backups can occur.

The Answer Man contacted Gilroy Mayor Marie Blankley who sits on the board for the Valley Transportation Authority, the agency in charge of getting a new overpass built.

“I’m all over the subject of U.S. 101/Highway 25 interchange these days,” she told me. “The construction project will be done in two phases. Phase 1 is fully funded, land acquisitions have been made, and actual construction of the new interchange is scheduled to begin in the Fall of 2024. When it begins, access from U.S. 101 to Mesa Road and Castro Valley Road will be closed.

“Extending Santa Teresa Blvd past Castro Valley Road (instead of where it currently dead ends) and connecting to U.S. 101 at Highway 25 is Phase 2. While environmental and such work for phase 2 is also funded, construction is not. I personally am in the thick of identifying with VTA, and with Gavilan College as a major advocate, funding to earmark for construction of Phase 2 to minimize the time between closing Mesa and Castro Valley roads access and constructing the extension of Santa Teresa Boulevard. We’ll get there.”

Stay tuned for an update and when Highway 25 from U.S. 101 into Hollister might be widened. We know that, too, is a mess.