Brought to you as a community service by your Tenth Congressional District Democratic Clubs.
Hi! If you got here by clicking on the picture of Mt. Diablo on the home page you probably want to see some nicer pictures, or at least some soothing text. If so, click here to go to the Mt. Diablo page.
(Where State Route 24 meets Interstate Route 680)
(More so the junction than the page.)
Full panoramic view taken June 26, 1996.
(Large picture is 3096 pixels wide - download and view with photoshop, photoflash, etc. - Netscape 2.x scrambles it on the display but Macintosh users can download and view with JPEGView at reduced size and use crop and zoom to display portions at 1 to 1). Internet Explorer displays this correctly.
The banding artifacts are a feature of the digital camera I'm using - it has no way to force the same aperature and speed for a series of pictures.
This highway junction is at the terminous of highway 24 in Walnut Creek where it joins highway 680. This is being totally replaced at a projected cost of more than 0.6 billion dollars to bring it up to modern seismic and environmental standards and to provide three lanes on most connectors rather than the previous two. The tricky part of this is that the juction must remain usable during the reconstruction. This has required the construction of a temporary two lane flying overpass that will be torn down at project completion (components will be recycled into a structure at Olympic Boulevard).
(Large picture is 72k) It's not this bad most evenings on this particular branch - this picture was taken just after a crane operator at CCM (the construction contractor) managed to bring down an entire bay of falsework onto an adjacent street and up against the freeway, damaging one car and a portable toilet. The contractors seem to have a problem operating heavy machinery. They managed to hit the overhead power lines twice in the last two years, once badly burning a worker who was greasing the crane while it was operating. They had another serious falsework collapse early in 1995, crushing the legs of a worker.
By the way, do you know that Congressional Republicans are attempting to put the budget knife to OSHA and to eliminate NIOSH? (OSHA is the Occupational and Health Safety Administration, the enforcement and inspection agency for workplace safety and NIOSH is National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health, a research agency). Are you willing to do something?
(Large picture is 126k)
Left image: Hwy 24 at the bottom, 680 North off to the left, 680 South
going away. Street at lower right is Boulevard Way, End of Mt. Diablo Boulevard is
at center of the left edge of the picture.
Center image: 680 North from the bottom and off to the right, 24 West
going away. Grass circle on left is at Olympic Boulevard.
Right image: 680 South from the bottom and off to the left, 24 West to the right.
BART track, Oakland Avenue and new Ygnacio Valley off ramp toward camera to left of highway.
Click the picture for the same text and a larger picture (77k)
Now do you think that all this construction is going to solve the Central Contra Costa traffic problem? The short term result will be to move the backup to the Benica-Martinez bridges and the Caldecot tunnels. The long term result will be the accelerated urbanization of East Contra Costa County, more traffic, and we will soon be back where we started. These constructions are ultimately subsidies to developers for which we all pay a price in health, comfort, security, and joy. Part of our problem is that the political processes in our county are being controlled by big money developers. Did you know that a conspiracy between General Motors, Firestone Rubber, and Standard Oil destroyed interurban rail transit systems in the Bay Area just before World War Two?
Interstate Highway 680.(external link)
State Highway 24(external link)
All California highways (external link)
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