By Chris Metinko, Staff Writer
Daily Review and Bay Area News Group

HAYWARD -- Cal State East Bay will celebrate the graduation of more than 5,200 students beginning Friday -- but all the caps and gowns also could create gridlock, school officials warn.

With four graduations occurring over the weekend on the Hayward campus and major construction along Mission Boulevard, university officials are alerting neighbors and commuters of the expected increase in traffic and suggesting alternate routes to the university.

Graduations will start Friday with College of Science students receiving their diplomas at 6 p.m. The College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences ceremony will occur the Saturday at 9 a.m., and the College of Business and Economics at 3 p.m. Graduation for the College of Education and Allied Studies will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Pioneer Stadium will be the site for all four ceremonies on the Hayward campus, at 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

University police are advising those driving to the campus for the ceremonies to leave early and avoid Mission Boulevard if at all possible.

Those traveling to Hayward from the north or south via Interstate 880 or east via the San Mateo Bridge are advised to take the Jackson Street off-ramp. Once eastbound on Jackson, they should turn right at Santa Clara Street, which becomes Harder Road. Follow Harder Road for 1½ miles as it heads uphill onto the campus.

Commuters using Interstate 580 from the Tri-Valley area are advised to take the Castro Valley exit. From the off-ramp they should turn left onto East Castro Valley Boulevard, then make an immediate left turn onto Grove Way, a left onto Center Street and stay right onto B Street. Turn left onto Second Street and follow it as it becomes Campus Drive. Turn right onto Hayward Boulevard and at the next signal, turn left onto Carlos Bee Boulevard as it leads onto the campus.

For those using I-580 from Oakland, exit the freeway at the Foothill Boulevard/Hayward off-ramp. Proceed on Foothill and make a left turn at City Center Drive and an immediate right turn at Second Street. Continue on Second Street until it becomes Campus Drive. Turn right on Hayward Boulevard and at the next signal, turn left onto Carlos Bee Boulevard.

For more information on routes to the Hayward campus, go to www20.csueastbay.edu/news/2011/06/commencement-roads-060111.html.