I-680 Pothole Causes Massive Traffic


Anda Chu

Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation, inspected and repaired the massive pothole in the middle of the highway.

Isha Sanghvi , Staff Writer

A massive six-foot long pothole disrupted traffic on February 28 on the right-hand lane of Northbound Interstate 680 near Mission Boulevard in Fremont, California. California Highway Patrol was alerted of the pothole’s presence by drivers at approximately 8:00 am and then relayed the message to Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation. Due to the extensive repairs needed to fix the pothole, several lanes on the highway were closed, backing up traffic for miles.

Several Irvington students and staff were affected by the large amounts of traffic, reporting excessive time taken to reach their destinations.

“Fremont traffic has been getting continuously worse but this was a particularly bad day,” said AP Government teacher Ms. Jorgensen, when asked to recount her experiences with the traffic that day. “In the twelve years I’ve taught here, I’ve never experienced a day where it took me three hours to get home when I live only eighteen miles away.”

Students, in addition to teachers, were also affected.

“The traffic itself was [at] a standstill as we didn’t move and the intersection was blocked. It took me 45 minutes to get from Irvington to Weibel with Automall Parkway backed up all the way to the Fremont Hub,” said junior Rachana Jayaraman.

This incident is not the first time the city of Fremont has experienced traffic problems due to sinkholes or potholes. The frequent formation of these obstacles pose the question as to why city officials have not noticed and repaired the initial small fissures that over time develop into large potholes under poor maintenance. These potholes are formed by excessive wear and tear over time and are prone to develop in areas where vehicular traffic is the greatest. Last year, on January 12, a massive sinkhole caused traffic congestion at the intersection of Christy and Albrae streets in Fremont. Residents have turned to SeeClickFlix, an application developed to notify local governments about non-emergencies in the community, to raise attention about the problem. On Fremont’s page for the application, 14 of the 62 reported problems concern pothole formation on Fremont streets and highways.

In efforts to reduce traffic in general, mayor Lily Mei announced that in April the Alameda County Transportation Commission will be finalizing their plans for an express and carpool lane, with the intent to start construction in the fall. The express lane is expected to decrease transportation time for commuters.