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New Cross-Airport Roadway Opens at San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport

New Cross-Airport Roadway Opens at San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport

Press Releases
March 12th, 2004

Roadway to be Named Ron Cowan Parkway

Oakland, CA—March 12, 2004 — A new roadway crossing San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport (OAK) opened today, marking the completion of a major construction project that significantly improves access between the airport, Interstate 880 and Bay Farm Island, at the south end of the city of Alameda.

This new roadway between OAK and Harbor Bay Parkway is the final phase of a $120 million project aimed at improving airport and freeway access for Alameda residents and businesses. The project was spurred by a $65 million contribution from Measure B, the 1986 voter initiative that authorized Alameda County's half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

“San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport has always been about convenience,” said Steven J. Grossman, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland. “The improved roadway will ease traffic congestion, just in time for the spring and summer travel periods.”

The 98th Avenue/I-880 freeway interchange that opened in 1998 was the initial phase of the project. The 98th Avenue project includes a widened and improved roadway, a new six-lane bridge over San Leandro Creek, and a grade-separated interchange that replaced a busy and congested surface intersection at 98th Avenue and Doolittle Drive, improving traffic flow and safety throughout the area. The 98th Avenue exit on I-880 is now the easiest and most direct route to OAK.

A ceremony slated for late spring will dedicate the roadway to Ronald H. Cowan, an Alameda real estate developer at Harbor Bay Island. Cowan, 65, is also known for championing regional water transit alternatives.

“The Port of Oakland has had a long-standing relationship with Ron Cowan,” said Tay Yoshitani, executive director of the Port of Oakland. “We’re glad that we can dedicate this special project in honor of that relationship.”

Funding for the roadway project comes from the cities of Alameda and Oakland, the Port of Oakland, the Federal Highway Administration and Measure B funds from the Alameda County Transportation Authority (ACTIA). ACTIA and its partners administer Measure B-funded projects and programs. Construction on the new BART-OAK rail connector could begin later this year and be operational by 2008, pending funding.

OAK is owned and operated by the Port of Oakland, an independent department of the city of Oakland. OAK is moving forward with its Airport Development Program (ADP), a number of improvement projects. In addition to airport roadway improvements, the ADP consists of a $500 million terminal improvement program that includes construction of a 5-gate extension to Terminal 2, a multi-level parking garage and support facilities. The new program is designed to comfortably accommodate the airport’s future passenger and cargo demand. Originally designed for approximately eight million passengers annually, OAK served 13.5 million passengers and handled more than 600,000 metric tons of air cargo in 2003.

About San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport: OAK has over 200 flights a day on 11 domestic and international carriers to 38 nonstop destinations, including Atlanta, Boston (beginning May 4), the Hawaiian Islands, New York, Washington, D.C., and Mexico and seasonal service to the Azores (Portugal), Costa Rica and Sun Valley, Idaho. OAK consistently has the fewest weather-related flight delays in the Bay Area. All on-airport rental car companies are now located at the interim Rental Car Center at 7600 Earhart Road. A common-use shuttle bus transports rental car customers between this facility and the terminals every 10 minutes. Web site: www.oaklandairport.com.

About the Port of Oakland: The Port of Oakland is the fourth largest container port in the nation. Established in 1927 as an independent department of the City of Oakland, the Port spans 19 miles of waterfront, which includes Jack London Square, oversees more than 900 acres of maritime terminal facilities, and owns and operates San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. Web site: www.portofoakland.com.