Work has officially begun on a project to rebuild the Willow Road and U.S. 101 interchange, following a groundbreaking event held Tuesday, May 16.
The Caltrans project, expected to take two years to complete, was funded with a Measure A allocation of $56.4 million and a $10.4 million loan from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority.
The new interchange will have eight lanes of traffic, widened off-ramps, dedicated bike lanes and sidewalks.
"It really does integrate everything," said Robert Haus, Caltrans spokesperson.
According to Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith, the project is intended to move more cars more efficiently through the interchange. Having a separate bike path to cross U.S. 101, she said, will hopefully encourage more people to ride their bikes in Menlo Park.
According to Menlo Park Assistant Public Works Director Nikki Nagaya, Willow Road will stay open during construction, and will operate at its usual capacity, though the site will be an active construction area. During the two years of construction, she said, there is expected to be one weekend when the interchange will be fully closed, and 20 to 25 overnight road closures, at hours when the road is least used – usually between 1 a.m. and when the morning commute begins, she said.
Mayor Keith said that $66 million is a "huge amount" to raise to fund the project, which points to importance of the project for the whole county.