Improved Regional Connectivity
TriLink is an opportunity to address access issues for the East Contra Costa County communities of Brentwood, Oakley, Antioch, Byron, and Discovery Bay, long considered a cul-de-sac in terms of highway access because further connections to the east and south are constrained or altogether lacking. Public transit and bicycle connections are also limited in the area, and by providing an alternative route for traffic moving from the Tracy area and points further east and south, TriLink could relieve congestion on Interstate-580. The TriLink study is looking at ways to improve the movement of people and goods within East County and to and from the Tri-County region.
Planned Development and Job Realization
In their adopted general plans, communities in the study area have designated certain land for conservation and other land for future development of housing and job-generating uses. Improved linkages to the east and south would support development of commercial, industrial, and office space planned for by communities in the study area and help realize planned job growth. In turn, more local jobs could reduce average commute distances and reduce vehicle miles travelled (VMT) per resident, furthering the aims of regional planning initiatives like SB 375.
In the future, manufacturing, wholesale, and transportation are expected to be among the fastest growing industries in the east Contra Costa and western San Joaquin region. Today, the Tracy area and nearby Lathrop are already key regional trucking distribution centers for the Bay Area, and trucks from these centers bound for East Contra Costa County use the Byron Highway because it is the shortest route. A key focus of the TriLink study will involve an analysis of goods movement in the region, now and in the future. Efficient trucking routes will likely be critical for the economic development of the region, as rail freight movement is cost effective only for longer distances (300 to 500 miles). The TriLink study is also looking at potential synergies with the M-580 Marine Highway Corridor project planned to provide freight service via barge between the Port of Oakland and inland ports in Stockton and Sacramento.
Sharp curves, narrow lanes, steep grades, lack of passing options, and high traffic volumes mean safety is still an ongoing concern for Vasco Road and other local rural roadways. The lack of pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the corridor also poses a safety concern. The TriLink study is looking at opportunities to address roadway safety by implementing current design standards which demonstrate safety benefits and re-routing potential future truck traffic to roadways built to a more appropriate design speed.
Emergency Response and Recovery
The communities of Mountain House, Knightsen, Discovery Bay, Oakley, and Antioch are all in flood-prone areas, and flooding due to heavy rain or levee failure could trigger the need to evacuate large numbers of people. A major flood event in any of these areas would result in an immediate need to evacuate to the south, and would likely preclude evacuation to the east. TriLink could serve as an emergency evacuation route and also as a route into the area for response and recovery assistance.
For more details of how TriLink could affect the region, please read the Study Impetus Statement.