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Oakland and San Leandro - Airport Gateway Area Urban Design Concept and Streetscapes

Client: City of Oakland / City of San Leandro / Port of Oakland / Alameda County Transportation Authority

For years, visitors traveling between I-880 and Oakland Airport asked themselves “Where am I?” while experiencing anonymous and unappealing commercial/industrial strip corridors.  The affected cities and agencies engaged FTB to improve corridor streetscapes to enhance district identity and encourage better private investment.

AFTER: Hegenberger Drive’s “grand boulevard” streetscape and sign towers improved its settings for hotels and traveler services.


BEFORE: Hegenberger Drive between Oakland AIrport and I-880 was an anonymous commercial and industrial strip.

  • The three entry corridors - Hegenberger Drive, 98th Avenue, and Doolittle Drive - had a neglected “strip” character that reflected poorly on the Airport and the cities of Oakland and San Leandro.
  • The cities and agencies were in the midst of planning new grade-separated roadways, creating potential placemaking opportunities.


  • Work with the Cities of Oakland and San Leandro, Port of Oakland, and Alameda County Transportation Authority to jointly plan and design improved entry corridors to and from Oakland Airport.
  • Conduct community workshops to take input and direction on project design.
  • Develop cost-effective streetscape and bridge design concepts for the corridors to create an appealing and welcoming gateway experience and “raise the bar” for private development character.


  • Urban Design Concept Adopted in 1999.
  • Construction Documents were prepared by ICF Kaiser Engineers and its team 1999-2001 with FTB as a subconsultant for streetscape and bridge treatment design.
  • Hegenberger Drive was rebuilt as a “Grand Boulevard” lined by date palm trees, decorative lighting, and landscaped medians with banner towers promoting Oakland.
  • 98th Avenue was reconstructed as a deciduous tree-lined arterial with palm gateways. 
  • New and renovated project bridges were treated with decorative railings and related lighting to reinforce corridor identity.
  • Doolittle Drive improvement concepts were reserved for future implementation.

In collaboration with:

ICF Kaiser Engineers, Haygood & Associates