One of our favorite bits of freeway in California is Highway 24. It's not a challenging road, but it moves fast through some pretty countryside. And we used to live right at its eastern terminus, so it's got a bit of a homey feel to it as well. On a clear day, headed west the casual motorist is greeted with an absolutely breathtaking view of the Bay when exiting the Caldecott Tunnel; that beautiful puff of clouds floating by from Oakland to the gates of Marin (apologies to Kerouac and Schwarzenbach). But the Caldecott's always been a bit of a problem.
The original Art Deco twin bores were constructed between 1929 and 1937. At the time, Contra Costa County was basically a sleepy collection of crossroads studding prime farmland. In 1964, given the bedroom-communities that had sprouted up with the rise of the Interstates, a third bore was added with a switchable divider to allow two bores to carry the prevailing traffic, generally causing huge tailbacks in the other direction as four lanes of traffic merged down to two. A fourth bore was desperately needed, but the money always seemed to go elsewhere.
Finally, though, relief is at hand. The latest round of highway improvement fund allocations, while rightfully bypassing the loathesome Natomans, finally resulted in a fourth bore for Highway 24. Hell, it's enough to make us want to move back to the Bay. Oh, wait. We already do want to move back to the Bay.
Final funding for fourth bore OK'd [Contra Costa Times]
Natomas Party People Left Out of Highway Funds Allocation, Old-Timers Stoked [Internal]