Caltrans News Release
District 4
Harry Yahata, District Director

June 29, 2001
Contact: Lauren Wonder/Caltrans 408/232-0228
Tomi Van de Brooke 925/938-8640

RELIEF FOR SUNOL GRADE MORNING COMMUTEó
HOV LANE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS

Construction is underway to add a southbound I-680 HOV lane along a 14-mile section of the Sunol Grade in Alameda County, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has announced.

The $26 million project is the second phase in a series of improvements along the 680/Sunol Grade corridor, currently the second-most congested commute in the Bay Area. The new lane between Hwy. 84 and Hwy. 237 will be completed and opened to traffic in spring/summer 2002.

"The Sunol Grade project has been accelerated to provide significant traffic relief for east bay commuters heading into Silicon Valley," said Paul Hensley, Caltransí Bay Area Deputy Director. "We are pleased to be working with our local, federal and private partners to deliver this important HOV lane and look forward to making more improvements along the corridor in the next few years."

When it is opened to traffic next summer, this HOV lane will widen the freeway from three to four lanes, increasing the capacity of the freeway while providing an incentive for commuters to rideshare and carpool. The lane will be open to all vehicles during non-commute hours.

The first phase of the project was a $3 million auxiliary lane on southbound I-680 in Fremont that was opened to traffic in March. The third phase includes more auxiliary lanes, ramp metering and soundwalls with construction scheduled to begin in 2003. The final phase, funded by Caltrans and Gov. Davisí Traffic Congestion Relief Program, will add an HOV lane and similar improvements to northbound I-680, beginning in 2004.

The unique, committed partnership that worked together to bring traffic relief to the I-680 Sunol Grade corridor includes Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, State Senator Liz Figueroa, the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, as well as many business organizations such as the Bay Area Council, the Contra Costa Council, the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, the Tri-Valley Business Council and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

Click here for project fact sheets (in PDF format; get Acrobat to review)