The Hegenberger Expressway is a limited-access roadway between 880 and International (East 14th); from International to MacArthur Boulevard it becomes 73rd Avenue and is a boulevard–still wide, but with regular access. It was built in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and was originally intended to go all the way to 580 as a cross-town arterial. It was also referred to as the East Oakland Crosstown Arterial.

The road includes an overpass across the railroad tracks and San Leandro Street, and several freeway-like on- and off-ramps.


Prior to the creation of the Oakland Airport, there was a numbered county road where parts of Hegenberger Road now run. After the airport opened in 1927 and started growing, there was increased need for access. The 1936 map shows Hegenberger extended as far as 77th Avenue. The 1950s brought the Eastshore Freeway (now 880) and the MacArthur Freeway (580) was coming; the airport expanded to the present-day area in 1962. According to Urban Outcomes the state had planned to build a freeway in the area as early as the 1940s, but Oakland built the expressway first because of the need for the airport, and because the state wasn't expected to build the freeway for several years. "As time went on, it was decided that Hegenberger should logically extend all the way to the newly planned Warren Freeway (13) in the Oakland hills." 1

One of the earliest mentions found is from January 1963, noting that city manager Wayne Thompson had allocated $2 million for the project in his budget. At that point the road was to go from the Nimitz to Bancroft Avenue. 2

Because of the Oakland Coliseum, the Hegenberger expansion was given higher priority, and the project grew. They decided to widen the section between San Leandro Street and East 14th to 8 lanes instead of 6, and the estimated cost grew to $9-10 million. The project sucked up funding and resources from other projects, and almost all of the Alameda County money Oakland received went to this project for a few years. 1 As with other large projects, it required the acquisition of land, in order to widen Hegenberger as well as 73rd and 74th Avenues.

A 1966 article about seeking federal funding for the project describes it as a $19 million project. 3 The notices about property acquisitions litter the legal notices section of the Tribune from late 1963 to 1972, and even a few in 1973 and 1974.

It's not yet known when they settled on the current configuration (boulevard from International to MacArthur), or if that was part of the initial plan. The East Oakland Crosstown Arterial name appears mostly from 1970 on, for the section between International and MacArthur.

Links and References

  1. Urban Outcomes: Schools, Streets, And Libraries by Frank S. Levy, Arnold J. Meltsner, Aaron Wildavsky; University of California Press 1974
  2. Thompson's 5-Year, $40 Million Plan Oakland Tribune January 27, 1963
  3. Job Project Gears Turning Oakland Tribune January 30, 1966 (p2)