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County bringing improvements to Almaden Expressway-Camden Avenue intersection using Measure B funds

Construction and electrical crews have made significant progress on a $4.2 million project to improve the intersection of Almaden Expressway and Camden Avenue in San José, one of several active projects funded by Measure B, the 30-year half-cent sales tax approved by Santa Clara County voters in 2016.

The project, overseen by the County Roads and Airports Department, will provide a range of operational and safety improvements to the busy intersection, including adding a second left-turn lane from Almaden onto Camden in both directions and squaring the corners of the intersection to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety.

“The intersection improvements at Almaden Expressway and Camden Avenue will deliver substantial benefits to local residents and commuters,” said Ananth Prasad, the County’s Deputy Director of Road and Signal Operations. “When construction is finished, this will be a very efficient intersection that is safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

Improving safety and access for pedestrians and bicyclists at intersections is a priority for the County and part of a national movement to make roadways friendlier to people traveling by foot or on bicycles.

Squaring the Camden-Almaden intersection, which eliminates diagonal merge lanes that motorists used to enter and exit the expressway, will shorten the distance that pedestrians have to walk and force cars to slow down when making right turns onto Almaden and Camden. The new intersection will feature right-turn pockets in both directions of Almaden to enable motorists to turn onto Camden without causing backups.

The intersection will feature several other notable improvements, including:

  • Technological upgrades that, along with the new lane configuration, will make the traffic signal system faster and more efficient.
  • Installation of the County’s innovative signal system that, with the use of pedestrian sensors, can extend the amount of time for people to safely cross the expressway on foot.

Work on the Camden-Almaden intersection began in October. Despite having to pause for nearly a month during the nonstop storms from late December to mid-January, the project remains on track to wrap up by June.

Measure B funds begin to show results

Camden-Almaden is the County’s third capital project using Measure B funds. The County has already completed improvements to Foothill Expressway between El Monte Avenue and San Antonio Road in Los Altos and Page Mill Road at Hanover Street in Palo Alto. The County has also used Measure B funds to repave roadways, including part of Almaden Expressway south of Blossom Hill Road in San José.

Measure B, administered by the Valley Transportation Authority, was approved by 72% of County voters in November 2016. The VTA began collecting the tax in 2017, but implementation of projects was delayed until 2019 by an unsuccessful lawsuit.

The goal of the measure is to improve mass transit, such as BART and Caltrain; roads, highways and expressways; and active transportation, including safe pedestrian access and bicycle networks.

The measure is expected to raise roughly $6.3 billion, which will be divided among nine program categories. The County’s Roads and Airports Department is eligible to access funds from two of them – local streets and County expressways – which are expected to receive about 31% of Measure B funding.

As of September 2022, Measure B had collected a total of $1.2 billion in tax revenue and allocated $1.1 billion to transportation projects. That includes $53.5 million allocated to the County through June 2023 for projects to improve its expressways.

For more information on Measure B:

To stay up to date on County roadway projects, go to the Roads and Airports Department’s capital improvement projects page.