Final phase of Hayward traffic loop begins Friday

March 15, 2013 5:37:54 PM PDT
A project to ease traffic headaches in the East Bay is about to hit a milestone this weekend. A new one-way loop will guide drivers around downtown Hayward. Drivers and businesses hope it'll unclog chronically-congested street and make it easier to access 880, 580, and the 238 connector.

One of the posted signs says it all, "The Loop is Easy!" Finally, there is what some believe will be a solution and end to the headache associated with driving through downtown Heyward. "Traffic has always been a problem in Hayward," Hayward Director of Public Works Morad Fahkhrai said. That changes as of Friday. The one-way traffic loop in downtown Hayward, part of a $100 million Public Works project, is designed to make things easier.

The project stretches 6 miles from I-580 to the north, down to Foothill Boulevard and around downtown. "Condition relief for traffic throughout Hayward, throughout the corridor, and particularly in the downtown," Fakhrai explained. He is part of the team who helped develop what's called the "Hayward Loop," all with one goal in mind. "Foothill, Mission, Jackson, which is one of the largest intersections or maybe the largest intersection in Hayward, will become much less congested," he said.

From the north, Main, A, C, and D Streets offer easy access to downtown. Heading out of downtown, Main, B, C and D Streets take drivers to the loop or across it to access BART or the upper B Street neighborhood. Engineers believe the project will alleviate a lot of the congestion at the many of the major downtown intersections. "So, whenever you have a back-up on 880 or on 238, folks take a cut-through through downtown Hayward," Fakhrai said.

To prepare for the changes, major upgrades were made like new landscaping, new street lights, state-of-the-art traffic control signals, wider sidewalks, and bike lanes.

"A lot of people may not know what direction they have to take in order to get to Buffalo Bill's," said Alexander Calderia with Buffalo Bill's Brewery. Starting at 8:00 Friday night, A street will become one-way westbound only, making it harder for some to access Buffalo Bill's Brews and Burgers which claims to be one of the oldest brew pubs in America. "So, unless you know there's an entrance to the parking lot back there, you're going to be going in this giant loop, essentially the downtown Hayward Loop," Calderia said acknowledging that it's a concern of his.

There's another reason Alex is concerned. St. Patrick's Day holiday weekend is coming up and he wants people to get to his brew pub easily, but he's concerned that the new traffic patterns could put the brakes on business. Click here for a complete look at the Hayward Loop.


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