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Signage at I-80 ICM Groundbreaking Event on October 19, 2012

I-80 SMART Corridor Project

Interstate 80 Integrated Corridor Mobility (ICM) Project

The I-80 corridor is one of the most congested in the San Francisco Bay Area, with traffic volumes reaching 290,000 vehicles per day and an average of 7,500 hours of daily traffic delays. However, innovative high-tech solutions to improve highway and transit efficiency throughout the corridor are on the way.

The I-80 SMART (Integrated Corridor Mobility) project, which broke ground in fall 2012, will implement ramp metering and incident management along I-80 from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza in Alameda County to the Carquinez Bridge in Contra Costa County.  The purpose of the project is to optimize the use of the existing infrastructure within the corridor by implementing strategies to reduce congestion, reduce travel time, provide real time information to drivers and improve safety.

Have you noticed construction on the on-ramps along I-80 between the Carquinez and Bay Bridges, and new signage infrastructure along San Pablo Avenue in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties? This is all part of the project, which is anticipated to be completed in early 2015. For up-to-date project information, including any nightime closures during fall 2014, visit

Learn more about the project components in the video below:


The approximately $80 million I-80 ICM Project is funded largely by the Corridor Mobility Improvement Account and the Traffic Light Synchronization Program—both created by State Proposition 1B. Approximately $2.8 million of the total project is funded by the Alameda County Measure B half-cent sales tax and $5 million by Contra Costa County Measure J half-cent sales tax.  Read the Fact Sheet here.

The San Pablo Avenue corridor and other I-80 connecting arterials are also included in the project, which is the first of its kind in the Bay Area to integrate freeway and arterial operations into a single system. It is also the first project to use variable advisory speed signs for end-of-queue warnings (helping to reduce secondary accidents), and the first installation of lane use signs in California. Transit will get priority at ramps when they enter the freeway.


Adaptive Ramp Metering

Every on-ramp along the corridor will be metered (a total of 44 ramps), using adaptive ramp metering, which is a “smarter” approach to ramp metering. It uses an algorithm that considers freeway and ramp volumes and then adjust the rates accordingly for optimal flow along the entire corridor. Queue spill-back detectors at on-ramps will prevent possible spill back onto local streets so as not to impact arterial operations, and faster metering rates will be utilized to ensure ramp queues are cleared if they extend beyond the queue spill-back detectors. Adaptive ramp metering optimizes the flow of traffic, reduces accidents by reducing merging conflicts, reduces overal corriddor delay, and facilitates safe and convenient merging as vehicles enter the freeway.

Incident Management
As part of incident management, real-time information will be provided to motorists using electronic changeable message signs, variable advisory speed signs, and informational message signs. Real-time traffic information will allow drivers to make better choices during their trip regarding route and mode to reach their destination, which result in more reliable expectations regarding travel times.   

Draft Initial Study Environmental Assessment - 2011

The Draft Initial Study Environmental Assessment (Draft IS/EA) for the Interstate 80 Integrated Corridor Mobility (ICM) project was available for a 30-day public review and comment period in 2011. Electronic files of this draft environmental document are available online at Please note, the public comment period has ended.

Open houses were held in May 2011 at the Albany Senior Center and at San Pablo City Hall. For more information about the project and the public meetings, see the documents below or visit

Groundbreaking - October 19, 2012

Caltrans and Alameda CTC, in collaboration with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Interstate 80 ICM Project on October 19, 2012 at Shorebird Park in Emeryville. See the photos of the event below.

“Safer and more efficient and reliable traffic flows along I-80 are essential to the current and future vitality of the Bay Area,” said Alameda CTC Chair Mark Green, at the project groundbreaking. “Alameda CTC is working to ensure that county and regional transportation systems will run as smoothly as possible and keep up with demand as the Bay Area’s population grows—using high-tech solutions to increase capacity on our existing roadways. This project means time savings and greater convenience for Bay Area residents and businesses that rely on the I-80 corridor.”

All photos by John Huseby/Caltrans