News


I-680 toll express lanes construction set to start

Dublin firm given notice to proceed on project through San Ramon Valley

The project to bring toll express lanes to Interstate 680 through the San Ramon Valley is expected to start construction this month, with completion estimated for late next year.

"The beginning of work on the 680 express lanes between San Ramon and Walnut Creek is an important milestone," John Goodwin, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) said Tuesday.

"It's the first Bay Area Express Lanes project to be undertaken by MTC ... and reflects our commitment to get more performance out of the Bay Area's existing freeway network, and existing carpool lanes in particular," he added.

The MTC aims to convert existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on I-680 between Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon and Rudgear Road in southern Walnut Creek into express lanes that would charge tolls for access during peak commute times. The project does not include freeway widening.

The joint Bay Area Infrastructure Financing Authority (BAIFA) in late-June approved a contract worth a maximum $18.5 million with DeSilva Gates Construction LP to complete the lane conversions. The Dublin-based firm was issued a notice to proceed last Friday, Goodwin said.

"The issuance of the notice to proceed gives the contractor 20 days to send us a detailed construction schedule," he explained.

Agency officials anticipate work will begin this month and continue for the next 15 months, with opening currently slated for late 2016, according to Goodwin.

As proposed, the congestion-relief project would replace existing 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, Goodwin said.

Work by DeSilva Gates is set to include adding signage, overhead toll readers, camera equipment and polls, median barriers, roadside lighting and associated roadwork such as striping and paving. A total of 31 overhead sign structures are planned for medians through the I-680 corridor.

The contract awarded to DeSilva Gates on June 24 is worth about $16.3 million for construction, plus almost $2.2 million in contingency funding.

The San Ramon-Walnut Creek segment is the one of three MTC projects aimed at creating express lanes on I-680 most of the way up to the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

The second project, planned for southbound I-680 by adding and converting lanes between the bridge and Rudgear Road, is scheduled for completion by 2018, according to the MTC.

Project 3, which remains unscheduled until funding is secured, would create northbound express lanes from North Main Street in Walnut Creek to the bridge coupled with operational improvements between North Main and Livorna, according to agency officials.

"The 680 Express Lanes project in Contra Costa County will be followed by similar projects along I-880 in Alameda County and I-80 through Fairfield; and later along other segments of 80, 680, 880 and the East Bay approaches to the Dumbarton, San Mateo-Hayward and Bay bridges," Goodwin said.

To receive construction notices related to the express lanes, send a message to info@bayareaexpresslanes.org. For more information, visit the MTC website.

Comments

8 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

It would be great if they started the toll/car pool lane from Milpitas to Pleasanton. I mean come on that is way past due!!!


2 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 5, 2015 at 9:17 am

@Marie, take a look at the MTC website for projects. The northbound 680 corridor from San Jose to Pleasanton is a project that looks like will be going sometime soon! I would really like to see additional carpool lanes on 580 and 880 from San Leandro up to the Bay Bridge approach.


Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 5, 2015 at 10:31 am

Thanks Mary, that does not look promising for Milpitas to Pleasanton, if the legend is correct it says by 2025. Heck I'll be retired by then!! haha


4 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm

If you look at historical CalTrans records, the north bound i680 carpool lane was to be completed by 2005. This was 10 years ago! Thanks to MTC, CalTrans was told to put the carpool lalne on hold in favor of the south bound i680 Express Lane. This of course made traffic worst and screwed up the i680/hwy84 interchange.

To make an Express Lane northbound on i680 now will be very painful. They waited too long to do this. Traffic is now stop and go every day from Milpitas to highway 84. I can only imagine what traffic will be like once Caltrans starts work on this.


31 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Glad the rich do not have to travel with the poor people in the free lanes.


2 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Since for 25 years I've been paying Kaiser for a hospital I still do not have, my important appointments are in Walnut Creek. I make those appointments according to the hours I can fully & speedily use 'my' connecting freeway. Will these current HOV hours remain, so I could stiil TIME my appointments for free freeway access?? I certainly do not intend to pay to keep medical appointments. The bother, time, and gas are quite enough.


2 people like this
Posted by Lena
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Aug 5, 2015 at 8:32 pm

I made the commute to Fremont from Pleasanton for a decade about a decade ago. And back then I though the commute was horrible. I can't imagine trying to do that now. It's so much worse. Thank God my job is mostly remote. I'd never survive dealing with 680.


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm

2025 to spray paint diamonds?


4 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 12:04 am

I assume there are MINIMUM speed restrictions, if drivers are required to pay for the right to use. Pokies and putt-putters should stay in the far right lane only , always and everywhere.


6 people like this
Posted by Traffic Engineer
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 6, 2015 at 12:28 am

Why don't they paint a double yellow line so drivers don't weave in and out of the express lane. I see cars on 680 south toward Fremont crossing the double white line all the time.


5 people like this
Posted by Traffic Engineer II
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 6, 2015 at 12:30 am

Why don' they add another lane or two to 680N from Milpitas? Will that ever happen? And where is the flyover from 580W to 680S? Traffic Engineers are about the dumbest people out there and their lame fixes only cause more traffic headaches.


3 people like this
Posted by Slow Green Cars
a resident of Foothill High School
on Aug 6, 2015 at 12:31 am

(Comment removed as off topic.)


Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 6, 2015 at 12:42 am

(Comment removed as off topic.)


29 people like this
Posted by local business owner
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 6, 2015 at 9:06 am

More toll lanes? Don't we pay road tax already?
Why do we have to pay yet another fee for driving on roads we already pay for?
How many times are we taxed on travel? Road tax, lane tolls, bridge tolls, gas tax, sales tax on our cars and repairs, licence and registration fees....not to mention the income taxes on the money we make to spend on taxes to drive to work to earn that money we spend on taxes. The double taxation just goes on and on. How about we stop giving money to country's that hate us and take care of ourselves, our children and the poor? I know, I'm an unreasonable extremist for suggesting such a logical thing....sue me.


20 people like this
Posted by oldtimer
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Aug 6, 2015 at 9:09 am

I don't think we should have both an increased gas tax and toll roads. So if we are getting toll roads, there is no reason to raise any additional tax. They already have a new funding source.


28 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 6, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Lane tolls are optional
Road tax -assuming you mean vehicle registration - reduced by Arnie to get Davis out with no budget offset = fewer $ going into the Transportation fund for years. But the person driving the Porsche should really only pay the same as the person driving the Kia?
Bridge tolls - bridges need to be maintained
Gas Tax - last raised???? But cheap energy is our entitlement as is our right to drive large, in-efficient SUV's

$59Bn in road repairs required in our fine state. 680 is falling apart and is now so bad in sections that the large gravel trucks are now driving in the middle lane to avoid/reduce the continual discharge of gravel off the top of their loads which equals broken windshields, pitted paint, on-going wheel alignment (ain't cheap), and tires that wear out faster (also ain't cheap).

Are these 'user fees' or taxes?

Have at it folks....


3 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Joe, so you want to raise gas 'taxes'???? Would that be to give the very wealthy 'electric' drivers even more of the free rides we're already giving them??? With our taxes we paid most of the sales price for each of them. Their car weight breaks down our freeways as much as any other cars. We subsidize the PG&E rates for them. We already pay 'our share' of punitive 'gas taxes' at the pump, for road repairs, which these wealthy people do not! We have allowed 'politicians' to take more from us than they should, to give more than they should to these wealthy, who would have purchased their snobby toys, without any of the many subsidies and tax write offs. Time for them to ante up for the badly needed road repairs, which they have contributed to.


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Patient,
Couldn't agree more -Electrics shouldn't get a free lunch -so they pay a higher registration fee. Gas tax -when was it last raised? My recollection was 20+ years ago.
The bottom line is that infrastructure has to be continually maintained or we get the result we now experience -failing infrastructure -roads, water, gas lines, you name it. The challenge is that we, collectively, keep on hiding behind the 'inefficient system' argument be it Sacto, PGE, 'all taxes are bad', choose your arguement. So where does the money come from to bridge the very real the $59Bn need? Our bodybuilding governor started the, what was it, $6Billion per year shell game, that has been played with the Transportation Fund. 6-8 years of that and we are starting to close in on $59Bn. However, oops, the money still needs to be found. Higher gas taxes, reg fees, etc -all are part of the solution, like it or not. I'd rather pay that way and have better roads than deal with a car, tires, suspension, etc., that wear out prematurely due to the daily beating my vehicles take on our roads...


2 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 10:53 pm

I'd like to compare the 'registration' fees, compared to a year's worth of 'gas taxes' for a commuter....I think you'd have to admit which commuters pay several times over. Not equal and not fair.


3 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 10:55 pm

The only fair tax, would be a 'mileage' tax....mile for mile for road repairs. Road 'use' for the only 'fair' road tax.


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 6, 2015 at 11:24 pm

Rich people only drive ev? I have an ev and I'm not rich. Nice cheap shot.

I love the rich people get off free mentality and the desire to "get them" through a mileage tax. A mileage tax is disproportionately biased to tax the less wealthy. The economic lower class typically drives farther to afford cheaper housing.


3 people like this
Posted by Patient
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2015 at 11:42 pm

Regardless, the fact remains, for 'road repairs', the only relevant factor is 'road' use, mile by mile, gas or no gas. Anything else would be purely politics.


29 people like this
Posted by Kris
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 6, 2015 at 11:55 pm

I'm not a liberal and am pro business and all that other good, but oh so unpopular conservative stuff. But it really bothers me that we are creating different classes of drivers based on ability to pay road tolls. I did the commute to Milpitas and back for a decade. I don't think anyone that was on the road with me was more or less deserving of getting to work or home faster. In fact it's more often the lower paying jobs with very strict set hours where one could be heavily penalized for being late due to traffic versus jobs like mine without super rigid work hours. Also, because jobs like mine on the sales/management side of things our jobs can actually be done in part while on the road. That's not true for many with lower paying jobs.

Anyway, I sound like a liberal, I know. It's scary.


2 people like this
Posted by local business owner
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 7, 2015 at 8:29 am

Joe, the point I was trying to make is that they take enough money from us already.
It doesn't matter how much we pay, they will always want more.
The problem is our money is all too often wasted or diverted or worse.
Giving politicians more tax money to do their damn job sis like giving a drug addict more coke to help him quit drugs. Pure foolishness.


Like this comment
Posted by NextTimeYouVote
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Remember all the politicians that created this mess the next time you vote. Make it a big issue if you want change.

Most Californians do not mind the freeway mess or it would have become an election issue decades ago. Talk to your neighbors, near election time press for a change.

Remember that California voters had no problem voting for a ridiculously expensive high speed train, spending money that could have gone to build the necessary freeway infrastructure.

Finally, watch out for the "Transportation" trick word where they sell us some spending plan with pictures of congested freeways, then spend most of the money on government owned "transportation" projects (BART, buses, bike paths, etc.). Worse yet, all of the government owned "transportation" projects require operating subsidies because the riders do not pay the full cost of operating the systems, let alone the capital costs of building them in the first place. Each new government system takes even more money out of the State budget.


36 people like this
Posted by REALLY
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm

I did not vote for toll roads in California. Those were suppose to be kept back East. I did not vote for walls to be built, ruining my view to see California. I voted to keep roads well maintained. I voted to keep the traffic flowing well.
Toll roads create more messy driving-now you have to move over 4-5 lanes to get off on your exit. Backs up the rest of the traffic. Duh.


Like this comment
Posted by Upper drive
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 3, 2015 at 11:26 am

Do not auction off the public commons. No toll lane for sale.

Its a slippery slope to much worse.


2 people like this
Posted by Kevin Morrow
a resident of Danville
on Apr 12, 2016 at 4:09 am

Greed reveals its ugly head once again. Tax, and spend. Raise payments for the lazy, and penalize all honest, decent, law-abiding citizens who pridefully take no help from anyone to get by. How hard it is to get by in this day and age. Anyone in support of raising taxes is a fool I tell you. You have no thought of God in your mind, and you have been blinded to the truth for too long. Repent, seek the Lord your God before it is too late for you! Be warned, the consequences to your sins will be grave. Seek the Lord and He will make you peaceful and content like you have never known, and will fill you with the Holy Spirit and you will see with new eyes! Never again will you languish in evil worldly ways, and taxation of the poor to raise pensions for the unentitled will be vanquished. Tax less, spend less I tell you. Vanquish pensions altogether. Spend this money on the roads, and really work to fix them. Chip in, get a broom, rake some gravel, and spread the asphalt yourself, instead of spending your time behind a desk and a computer, talking foolishly and chipping in on blogs. Is this hard-work? Worthy of any pension with lifetime benefits which raise every year? I tell all, get to work, to get busy with our lives, and be productive with them. God loves a hard-working soul, and one who is humble. With the knowledge of God comes the beginning of wisdom.

Read the Bible yourself, and you will see as I have seen, the Truth, the Life and His promises to give us live everlasting! It is true if you believe. Say with your mouth, that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, and You will be saved!


7 people like this
Posted by Eyes rolling
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 12, 2016 at 7:39 am

Kevin, it's just a book that has as much to do with the commute as Harry Potter does.


Like this comment
Posted by Kevin Morrow
a resident of Danville
on Apr 13, 2016 at 10:59 pm

[Post removed due to excessive and/or repetitive post by same poster]


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