Wildcat Canyon Road repair in Contra Costa County will take several years: Roadshow

Another reader seeks a fix for increased traffic on Highway 101

Q: I live in the Berkeley Hills, and Wildcat Canyon Road, which leads to Orinda, has been closed since the storms of last winter. Do you have any information on when that might reopen?

Along the same lines, I was unaware that Highway 40 over Donner Pass had been closed but had recently reopened. Do you know if they intend to keep it open during the winter, if snow permits?

McDougald, Dick

A: Wildcat Canyon Road in Contra Costa County is closed due to a slope failure repair project. More on that later (the short answer is that the road will reopen there in the fall of 2025).

Wildcat Canyon Road in Berkeley will be closed between Park Hills and Shasta Road from Oct. 20 to Nov. 10. See the City of Berkeley’s traffic advisories for more information.

Concerning the larger project on Wildcat Canyon Road, Contra Costa County was notified in mid-September that it would receive federal funding through the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program, which is managed by Caltrans. Coordination with Caltrans is now underway in order to secure funding. The county is finishing up the project’s design, which will include a retaining wall to support the roadway. Environmental studies are currently underway, with environmental clearance expected in late 2024. The road is expected to reopen in the fall of 2025, after construction is completed in the spring of 2025.

Visit the Contra Costa Public Works website for more information as the project progresses.

Yes, Highway 40 was closed intermittently over Donner Pass last winter due to the massive amounts of snow that area received. It was closed earlier this summer due to a rock fall but has since reopened. More information about the work done on that project can be found on Nevada County’s construction webpage.

Donner Pass will be open this winter, though it is subject to intermittent closure due to weather conditions as a high-elevation mountain pass.

Q: I’ve been commuting in the south peninsula for 30 years or more, and I’ve never seen Highway 101 with this much traffic. It used to be bad in the morning northbound from Sunnyvale to Palo Alto and in the afternoon/evening southbound, but now it’s bad in both directions at those times.

I’m guessing that a lot of the visitors are Google and Facebook employees. It would be fantastic if these and other companies could provide more transportation buses for their employees.

Ed King from Sunnyvale

A: More buses could be beneficial.

Q: Is there a website that lists road closures? On Sunday, I was going to Rio Vista. The Antioch bridge was closed with little to no notice.

Pleasant Hill resident Scott Wheeler

A: Look into Caltrans QuickMap. There is also a mobile app available. For current highway conditions, call Caltrans at 1-800-427-7623.

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