/ Construction / Construction of Yerba Buena Island Projects Progress

Construction of Yerba Buena Island Projects Progress

Matt Ball on March 31, 2016 - in Construction, Land Development, Projects, Transportation

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (Transportation Authority) is working jointly with the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) and the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) on the development of the Yerba Buena Island (YBI) I-80 Interchange Improvement Project. TIDA and OEWD asked the Transportation Authority, in its capacity as the San Francisco’s Congestion Management Agency (CMA), to lead the effort to prepare and obtain approval for all required technical documentation for the YBI I-80 Interchange Improvement Project because of our expertise in funding and interacting with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on technical aspects of the project.

This project is independent of but closely coordinated with the Caltrans San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) projects and the TIDA Treasure Island Redevelopment project. The project is funded with Federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP), Proposition 1B Local Bridge Seismic Retrofit Account (LBSRA) and TIDA local match funds.

The scope of the YBI I-80 Interchange Improvement Project includes two major components:

  • On the east side of the island, the I-80/YBI Ramps project will construct new westbound on- and off- ramps to the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge.
  • On the west side of the island, the YBI West-Side Bridges Retrofit project will seismically retrofit the existing bridge structures—critical components of island traffic circulation between the islands and the Bay Bridge.



The Yerba Buena Island (YBI) I-80 East-Side Ramps project will relocate the westbound exit ramp on the north side of I-80 and reconstruct the westbound entrance ramp on the north side of I-80 onto Bay Bridge. The project will improve traffic safety, geometric design, and traffic operations of the ramps. The total estimated project cost is currently $98.04 million.

A joint California Environmental Quality Act/National Environmental Quality Act (CEQA/NEPA) document, prepared by the Authority and Caltrans in the form of a Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS/FEIR), was completed for the project in December 2011. The FEIS/FEIR was re-validated in June 2012 to account for additional temporary improvements required by the US Coast Guard.

On December 17, 2013, the Transportation Authority Board approved award of the construction contract in the amount of $49,305,345.50 to Golden State Bridge, Inc. (GSB)’s DBE participation goal of 13.8% exceeded the contractual requirements of 12.5%. Construction contract work started in January 2014 with completion targeted for August 2016.

As of July 2015, overall construction activities are approximately 65% complete. GSB has completed 95% of all foundations, columns, and abutments for the project and is on target for completion by the end of August 2015. False work erection is approximately 65% complete with all false work scheduled for completion by September 2015. Bridge deck concrete pours are approximately 25%. It is anticipated all bridge concrete deck pours and post-tensioning work will be completed by early 2016. The project is on schedule for completion and ribbon cutting in August 2016.


The Yerba Buena Island (YBI) West-Side Bridges Retrofit project will retrofit or replace eight existing bridge structures along Treasure Island Road to meet current seismic safety standards. Five of the structures will be seismically retrofitted, while three will be demolished and replaced. These bridge structures are a vital component of the YBI traffic circulation system and also serve as an important part of the on and off-ramp system to I-80 and the SFOBB. Total estimated project cost is $66.33 million.

Seismic Strategy Reports prepared by the Authority were approved in October 2011. A joint California Environmental Quality Act/National Environmental Quality Act (CEQA/NEPA) document, prepared by the Authority and Caltrans in the form of Categorical Exemption/Categorical Exclusion, was completed in December 2012.

As part of continued preliminary engineering and design efforts and as required by federal funding a Value Engineering Analysis (VA) Report was prepared in February 2014 in consultation with TIDA, San Francisco Public Works (SFPW), Caltrans and independent construction experts. The VA team made various recommendations for the Transportation Authority and TIDA consideration to reduce overall project risk and cost. The recommended VA Alternative estimated at $66 million will save approximately $9 million compared to the environmentally approved alternative estimated at $75 million. It will also improve seismic performance, simplify construction efforts, minimize maintenance cost and is preferred by TIDA and SFPW. The VA Alternative realigns Treasure Island Road into the hillside and replaces two of the structures with retaining walls. The introduction of the VA Alternative will require additional engineering and environmental analysis to be performed.

Additional Federal HBP funding for additional preliminary engineering phase efforts was allocated to the Transportation Authority in May 2015. The Transportation Authority’s consultant, WMH Inc., is continuing preliminary engineering and additional environmental documentation efforts with completion scheduled in the Spring of 2016. Final design and right of way certification activities are targeted for completion by the Fall of 2016. Construction start is scheduled after completion of the YBI Ramps project and the Caltrans SFOBB eastbound on-off ramps improvement project in order to avoid traffic circulation delays to, from and on the island. The project is currently anticipated to start construction in mid 2017, with completion targeted by mid 2019.

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