Gilman roundabouts construction set to begin in late 2020

A project to build two huge roundabouts to replace the chaotic intersections on Gilman Street at Interstate 80 in West Berkeley is set to begin by the end of the year, according to project materials recently obtained by Berkeleyside.

A September factsheet from the Alameda County Transportation Commission says the double roundabouts are needed because of “higher than average rates of injury collisions” and “significant roadway deficiencies,” among other factors.

For those who haven’t been keeping track, the plan is to build a pair of roundabouts on Gilman on either side of the freeway. The project is slated to be completed in two phases, starting with a pedestrian and bicycle overcrossing to the south. Construction for that piece of the project is set to begin late this year and wrap up by 2023, according to project materials.

The second phase of the project involves improvements to the intersections and nearby local streets; better crossings for pedestrians and cyclists; the closure of a gap in the Bay Trail; and safety upgrades at the nearby Union Pacific railroad crossing. Work on that phase is set to begin in summer 2021 and end in 2023.

The project is currently estimated to cost about $63 million, according to project materials. More than $40 million of the budget is coming from the state.

The Gilman roundabouts are a collaboration between the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), Caltrans, the cities of Berkeley and Albany, East Bay Regional Park District, East Bay Municipal Utility District and various bicycle groups, according to project materials.