The long-awaited extension of Stoneridge Drive will open Nov. 1, giving shoppers, workers and other motorists in Livermore and Pleasanton a direct, safer route to travel between the two cities.
Mid-morning ceremonies are planned to celebrate the project's completion, along with a 7-acre public park next to the new road. The ceremonies will include Pleasanton, Livermore and Alameda County representatives as well as those from Stoneridge Creek, the new retirement community, which will also celebrate its official opening.
A time for the ceremonies has yet to be announced, but it's expected it will take place at the intersection of Stoneridge Drive and Stoneridge Creek Drive, just east of the Arroyo Mocho bridge.
It's been bridge work that has delayed the opening of Stoneridge Drive, which was paved, striped and ready to open more than a month ago.
The plan to make Stoneridge Drive a through street between Pleasanton and Livermore dates back to 1989 after Pleasanton engineers shifted the long-considered thoroughfare from Las Positas Boulevard to Stoneridge. At the time, homes had already been constructed on Las Positas east of Santa Rita, with driveways extending into the street. Stoneridge, which was completed as a major street through Hacienda Business Park, had yet to be built east of Santa Rita.
Motorists will now be able to travel from the end of Livermore's Jack London Boulevard at El Charro Road through Pleasanton to Foothill Road at the city's west side where Stoneridge ends.
The new roadway gives Livermore residents faster access to medical care and emergencies at ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton, where before those needing medical help and even ambulances had to follow a circuitous route along Stanley Boulevard or in traffic on Interstate 580.
Although it's a direct route through the heart of Pleasanton, it won't be non-stop. When it opens, Stoneridge will have 22 traffic signals in place, including five new ones added in just the past few weeks. Engineers will analyze traffic volumes on the road in the coming weeks to determine if the lights will be synchronized to allow a smooth flow, say at 35 mph, or if they'll be timed like the traffic light at Ruby Hill Drive and Vineyard to control the number of cars on Stoneridge, especially during peak commute hours.
As Stoneridge was constructed east of Santa Rita, soundwalls were installed along the residential side of the street, which was built with a four-lane divided street in mind. It stopped at Staples Ranch, a 124-acre undeveloped parcel between Pleasanton and El Charro Road that was owned by the county. Years of debate followed over how to develop Staples, with environmental and traffic concerns also blocking the extension of Stoneridge.
That roadblock ended with the election of City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio in 2006, who campaigned on completing Stoneridge. Councilman and now-Mayor Jerry Thorne sided with her and the then-Mayor Jennifer Hosterman joined the two council members, enabling a majority vote to complete the Stoneridge extension.
Stoneridge from Santa Rita to El Charro is also the first street in Pleasanton to be paved with rubberized asphalt which is a noise attenuating (lessening) pavement.
"Rubberized asphalt provides unbelievable comfort in both a car's riding performance and the noise pavement makes," said City Manager Nelson Fialho. "It's not only less expensive, but it lasts longer and is easier to repair."