Alameda CTC, in partnership with Caltrans, broke ground on the I-680 Sunol Northbound Express Lane Project, which will construct a new nine-mile HOV/express lane and associated improvements on northbound I-680 between Auto Mall Parkway and SR-84. See the summary presentation.
The project also includes upgrades to the adjacent southbound I-680 Sunol Express Lane, modifying the access configuration from controlled access to a near continuous access configuration, similar to that on the I-580 Express Lane corridor through the Tri-Valley. The construction contract was awarded to Concord, CA-based Bay Cities Paving & Grading, Inc. in November 2017.
“I cannot say enough how important this corridor is to the vitality of the region,” said Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle, Alameda CTC Chair. “It is a vital link between the South Bay and the Tri-Valley and Central Valley — connecting to a major goods movement corridor. The cost of people stuck on a freeway translates into lost productivity, increases in the price of goods and services and contributes to poor air-quality.”
The I-680 Sunol Southbound Express Lane was opened in 2010 as the first express lane in the Bay Area. Since then, Alameda CTC opened the east- and westbound I-580 Express Lanes (2016) and MTC opened the I-680 Contra Costa Express Lanes (2017).
Express Lanes provide more reliable travel times, improved traffic conditions, and incentives to carpool and use transit. I‐680 at the Sunol Grade is consistently ranked one of the top 10 most congested freeway corridors in the Bay Area. Queues near Andrade Road begin to form at 2 p.m. or earlier most weekdays and extend beyond Scott Creek Road (nearly 10 miles) by the peak afternoon commute. Travel time delay contributes to diverted traffic on Calaveras Boulevard, Mission Road and Mission Boulevard.
“Alameda CTC is keeping its pledge to residents and businesses throughout Alameda County by delivering critical transportation improvements and supporting local jobs with funding from the approval of sales tax Measures B and BB,” says Alameda CTC Executive Director Arthur L. Dao. “It is not every day that more than $100 million in local construction work hits the street.”