Item Coversheet
Agenda Item







Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) staff has requested the City of Union City to consider assuming all responsibility for the completion of the design and construction of the East-West Connector Project. Tonight City staff will provide the City Council with a status of the project and key deal points that ACTC has requested to be included in a project transfer agreement with the City. Staff will present options to the City Council regarding the project. Staff is seeking guidance on how to proceed but no action is required tonight. Staff will bring back this item on February 27, 2018 for City Council authorization on how to proceed.


The East-West Connector project is to construct a 4 lane roadway from the intersection of 7th Street and Mission westerly to Paseo Padre in Fremont, approximately 1500 feet north of the Isherwood intersection. The project also includes widening Paseo Padre from this point to Decoto Road and widening Decoto Road from Paseo Padre to I-880. The project is complex as it requires construction of grade separations at the UPRR tracks on both the Niles and Oakland Subdivisions; a grade separation at BART, two new bridges crossing old Alameda Creek and one new bridge crossing the Alameda County Flood Control Channel.  The East-West Connector provides vital connectivity to the Union City Station District and provides congestion relief to Decoto Road.

The East-West Connector project was planned in 1989 and was to be funded from Measure B; the first Alameda County voter-approved sales tax measure. The Alameda County Transportation Commission (and its predecessor agency, ACTIA) has been the lead agency to deliver this project. Due to many unforeseen issues, delays, and the complexity of the project, the project’s estimated budget has increased from $88,000,000 to $319,900,000.


ACTC’s staff has requested that Union City consider taking over the project responsibility and assume all risk for the project delivery from design to completion of construction. ACTC staff has stated that by having the local jurisdiction who is most vested in the project taking over the project delivery would allow that jurisdiction the most flexibility to control the project’s cost.


In order for Union City to assume the responsibility for this project, the City must agree to the following ACTC deal points: 


  • Current estimate for all phases and all segments A through D is $319.9 million

    • Segment A (Decoto Road I-880 to Paseo Padre and Paseo Padre from Decoto to New East- West connector west of Isherwood) all within the City of Fremont - $23.9 million;


    • Segment B (New Roadway from Paseo Padre to Alvarado- Niles Road) within Cities of Fremont and Union City - $122.6 million;


    • Segment C (New from Alvarado -Niles Road to Mission Blvd) all within Union City - $170.3 million;


    • Segment D (tie into Mission Blvd needs Caltrans review) all within Union City – $3.1 million;


    • Union City can review these estimates and revise as needed but must realize any additional cost is to be picked up by local match, no additional funds from ACTC;

  • Union City to take over the entire project and assumes all risks including all cost overruns;


  • Union City agrees that this project will commit all of ACTC’s Union City Measure BB funds and no other Union City project will be funded from Measure BB, (this includes the intermodal project);

  • Union City will commit using all of Dumbarton Corridor Funds -$40 million;

  • Union City will commit all Transit Intermodal Station funds - $75 million;

  • Union City will commit an additional $19.4 million into the already $6.7 million for a total match of $26.1 million (this will be from right of way dedication and green infrastructure mitigation);


  • ACTC will reconfirm the previous $109.0 million committed which includes the Union City’s 6.7 million match;

  • ACTC will commit $32 million from TEP23 Railroad (Union City’s estimated portion);

  • ACTC will commit $10 million from TEP44 –Bike –Ped, (Union City’s estimated portion);


  • ACTC will commit $9.5 million from TEP45 Community Dev. (Union City’s estimated portion);


  • ACTC will commit $25 million from Local Streets (Union City’s estimated portion);

  • Union City will need cooperation from the City of Fremont for Segments A and B.  Union City will need to reach agreement with Fremont separately from their deal with ACTC;

  • ACTC staff will include wording in the agreement that if the project does not spend all funds, the remaining funds would revert to the Intermodal Station project or the Dumbarton Corridor, which Union City can use;


  • ACTC has established a cash flow for this project, which would construct segments C and D first; and segment A would follow shortly so that it would be completed at or near the same time. Segment B would begin construction after C and D are complete. If Union City wishes to bond for the construction in order to expedite and phases, then Union City bears that cost;


  • Union City will have complete control of the project, and if due to budget constraints, the side projects such as the corporation yard improvements, or dog park improvements are omitted, that is fine with ACTC as long as the four lane roadway is constructed and the intent of the project is met.

  • LATIP (Local Area Transportation Impact Program) proceeds (a State funding source) still need to be calculated to determine how they may or may not affect the agreement; 

  • City needs to have local preference rules for selecting contractors and consultants.


  • If, after the construction bids are opened and it is evident that the cost of the project exceeds the funds available, and that there are no other sources of funds available, then Union City will have the right to not assume the project liability and will return all unused funds to ACTC to be used for future Union City projects that comply with the ACTC funding guidelines.


Senior Union City staff members have met the senior Fremont staff members, and Fremont's staff have expressed a willingness to cooperate with Union City to deliver this project.  They have specifically expressed a willingness to take the lead on delivering segment A, but are concerned about cost overruns. Further discussion with Fremont will need to occur.


There are significant risks with each segment of this project.


  • Segment A lies entirely within the city of Fremont and requires widening of Decoto Road and Paseo Padre. It requires the acquisition of right-of-way from private property owners within Fremont. It is logical that the Fremont would be the lead agency for this segment. The design for this segment is approximately 13 months away from completion. It will take approximately another 2 years after that to obtain the needed rights-of-way and another year to complete construction. if everything goes as planned, Segment A will be delivered approximately 4 years from when the agreement is reach with ACTC.


  • Segment B lies within both Union City and Fremont. The segment contains three bridges and requires permits from Alameda County Flood Control, Fish and Game, Regional Water Quality Control Board and coordination with Alameda County Water District. Fremont prefers that Union City take the lead on this Segment. It will take approximately 13 months to complete the plans and obtain approvals from the agencies; but due to ACTC cash flow, the project construction would not start until after segments A, C and D are completed. The estimated time for Segment B to be delivered is 7 years from when the agreement with ACTC is reached.


  • Segment C lies entirely within the Union City. However it is the most complex and expensive segment due to the grade separation structures with BART and UPRR. It requires permits from BART, UPRR, Regional Water Quality Control Board and ACWD. It is logical for Union City to be the lead agency for this segment of the road. It will take approximately 13 months to complete the design and obtain the necessary permits to construct this segment. The estimated time for Segment C to be delivered is 4½ years from when the agreement with ACTC is reached.


  • Segment D lies entirely within Union City and is the only segment which requires Caltrans approval since it ties into Mission Blvd (HWY 238). The time lines for segment D to be completed coincides with Segment C.

As with any construction project, there are unknowns that occur during construction which can add delays and costs to the project. It is highly likely that the $319.9 million may not be sufficient to deliver all the segments of this project. As such the City should consider the following options:


A. Assume responsibility for all segments and reach an agreement with Fremont to assume responsibility for Segment A – this has the highest risk of potential cost overruns, but it provides a complete project that will allow the Station District to be developed as envisioned. If City Council choses this option, the City should be aggressive in seeking additional funding sources that could include working with our legislators or seeking partnerships with private entities who are interested in the Dumbarton Corridor transportation improvements.

B. Assume responsibility for Segments A, C and D only; and reach an agreement with Fremont to assume responsibility for Segment A – this has the second highest risk of potential cost overruns but it provides a complete connection from Mission Boulevard to Alvarado-Niles Road which will allow the Station District to be developed but possibly in a less than optimal way. The East-West Connector would not be constructed between Alvarado-Niles Road and Paseo Padre at this time.  If City Council choses this option, the City will need to negotiate with ACTC staff for a funding methodology which allows these segments to be funded while protecting our unused Measure BB funds to the greatest extent possible.


C. Assume responsibility for Segments C and D; if an agreement with Fremont to assume responsibility for Segment A cannot be reached. This option has the same risk to Union City and negotiation requirements as Option 2 above.

D. Assume no responsibility for any segments - This option would cause ACTC to consider defunding the project. This option while having no cost of construction overrun risk to the City, but it could have a dramatic impact on the ability of Woodstock Development to construct 1.2 million square feet of offices in the Station District and the long-term revenue generation of funds that the development of could contribute to the long-term financial health of the City.  With no funding for the East-West Connector, ACTC may agree to release funds to construct the Industrial and Shinn Connections and a rail platform on the Oakland Subdivision and connect with BART.  The track improvements would require the approval of UPRR.  Based on the City’s experience with Union Pacific, it takes years and advocacy by our local congressman to obtain approvals and rights to run passenger rail on a UPRR line.   

While staff is not seeking direction tonight, staff is looking for initial feedback and request that the City Council carefully consider the options before them as staff will be bringing this item back on February 27, 2018 for direction.


Land Use and the General Plan


For the past 30 years, the General Plan has assumed that the East-West Connector will be built to provide access to the Greater Station District area.  All of the past CEQA documents, including EIRs, have relied on the construction of the East-West Connector to address long-term traffic impacts and provide adequate access and capacity to support intensive land uses for jobs and housing.  Without the East-West Connector, land use assumptions will need to be revisited and the (current) 2040 General Plan EIR will need to be revised.  Further, the Council may need to reconsider the long-term vision and policies for the area.   These impacts were alluded to above, but the Council’s decision will have immediate impacts to the General Plan update, and long-term impacts to the land use capacity of the Greater Station District.  These long-term impacts with a reduced roadway (or no roadway) have not been analyzed or studied.  However, it is anticipated that service levels on Decoto Road will continue to deteriorate.


None at this time as this is an informational item.


None at this time as this is an informational item.

Prepared by:

Thomas E. Ruark, Public Works Director

Submitted by:

Thomas E. Ruark, Public Works Director