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Construction continues this month on I-680 express lanes

May tasks include reconstruction of median barriers, electrical work

San Ramon Valley commuters will notice lane shortages throughout this month due to ongoing construction for the Interstate 680 express lanes.

Overnight work on the project will continue on the freeway Mondays through Saturdays, and other associated construction will occur on San Ramon Valley Boulevard and Crow Canyon Road during the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays through June 30, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

"Nearly all of the overhead toll sign structures will be placed in the corridor, and reconstruction work will continue on the median barriers," MTC officials said in their monthly construction update email.

In order to maintain a safe work zone, temporary k-rail and construction signage along with orange plastic fencing will be shown on the freeway from Martinez to Dublin, officials said.

The construction will include installing a fiber-optic cable along I-680. "The electrical work for the communications network will provide power to the overhead toll signs," MTC officials said.

Nightly lane closures due to the construction project will occur Mondays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Fridays from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 10 a.m.

The $49 million express lanes project on I-680 from Walnut Creek to Dublin is expected to be completed by this fall.

As proposed, the congestion-relief project aims to replace existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes with express lanes on southbound I-680 from Rudgear Road to Alcosta Boulevard and on northbound I-680 from Alcosta to Livorna Road in Alamo -- approximately 23 miles overall.

The express lanes would be free to access for carpools, vanpools, public transit, motorcycles and eligible clean-air vehicles while other solo drivers could pay a toll to use the lanes. Toll lane hours and rates have not been finalized, according to the MTC.

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Comments

8 people like this
Posted by DOUG
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2016 at 2:03 pm

I don't understand the reasoning behind spending $49M dollars to make an existing HOV lane into a TOLL lane. Who during commute time will use it? During the morning and evening rush hours I680 is a parking lot everyday. All four lanes including the current HOV lane. So whats the point to spending all this money. I could understand it if they were adding a lane...but they are not. This is just another waste of tax payers dollars authorized by the MTC.


7 people like this
Posted by Dellman
a resident of Danville
on May 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

The real underlying "why" is that the Diamond lanes do not generate revenue...and of course control. I do not know how many years it will take before the $49 mil gets paid back from our tolls, but i do know that if they do what they did on 580, i.e. charge us all day, from early morning, til 8 pm, it will happen more quickly. After we've paid the $49 mil back, then it will become revenue positive.
I'm not sure that people understand that instead of gaining, they are losing a lane that they will not be able to drive in during the day, without paying...
Did you really think the reason that we were "encouraged" to get the transponders was only so we could cross the bridges?
Triple taxation...pay to install and maintain the "free"ways, then pay to build the infrastructure, so they can them charge us to use our own roads.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on May 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I agree with both of the above comments. The conversion of HOV lanes to toll lanes is the result of legislation passed in Sacramento & implemented by unelected bureaucracies (that lack vision); CCTA, Caltrans, MTC, etc.

No additional lanes are being added, so present commute gridlock will not be reduced. A logical person would not pay to drive in a toll lane during commute hours when that toll lane is barely moving just like the other lanes, just as it makes no sense to drive in a toll lane during non-commute hours, when the traffic is lighter. Maybe there will be a new "class" of ego-centric driver that will drive in the toll lane just "to be seen" by the unwashed peasants moving along at the same speed in the non-toll lanes.


There is no "payout" to this bureaucratic snafu, it is just more big government illogical mandating of half baked ideas. Californians get exactly this result by voting in a lot of the representatives now in Sacramento. Maybe the electorate in CA ought to wake up!


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