MENLO PARK. Calif. (KGO) —
Facebook is hitting the “dislike” button on the Bay Area’s traffic woes. The social media giant is partnering up with the public sector to ease congestion along the neighboring Dumbarton Bridge.
Traffic is nothing new in the Bay Area, especially along the Dumbarton Corridor that connects the East Bay to Silicon Valley.
“Living in the Bay Area, it’s just getting busier and busier,”said Zack Freitas of his daily commute to Palo Alto from Hayward. He said he could be stuck in traffic for up to four hours a day. “I just tell the wife I’m not going to be home for another hour and a half.”
Two years ago, Facebook funded a million-dollar study to find ways to alleviate the congestion. On Wednesday, they announced a partnership with SamTrans and Plenary Group to get the project off the ground.
“Facebook really has a stake in this because they’re located right in this corridor so a lot of their workers are coming through here every day and dealing with that congestion,” said Dan Lieberman, public affairs specialist for the agency.
The solution is to add bus express lanes onto the Dumbarton Bridge and revamp the adjacent century-old rail bridge for passenger transit.
As it stands now, the Dumbarton Rail Bridge is not seismically fit so a new one would have to be built. A project that size doesn’t come cheap.
“The estimates for the rail bridge itself would be somewhere in the ballpark of a billion dollars,” said Lieberman.
The hefty cost hasn’t scared off Facebook. “It’s still early days and we need to understand the environmental impact of this proposal. But by working to ease congestion in the area, we hope to make life better for everyone,” said John Tenanes, vice president of Global Facilities and Real Estate at Facebook.
When everything is said and done, the price tag for the entire project could reach up to $2 Billion.
Where that money will come from remains to be seen.
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