I-680 carpool express lane project begins in Calif.

Updated Oct 15, 2018
Google Earth screen shot.Google Earth screen shot.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Contra Costa County, California, on October 3 to mark the beginning of a $127 million project to add an 11-mile southbound carpool express lane to Interstate Highway 680

The lane will stretch from Martinez to Walnut Creek, which is expected to shorten drive times by 10-15 minutes, SF Gate reports. The project is a partnership between California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and the Federal Highway Administration.

“What we’re witnessing today is really the process of reinventing the freeway,” Caltrans District 4 Director Tony Tavares said during the groundbreaking event, according to the news agency. “We have several years of work ahead of us, but a major component in the Bay Area’s future highway system starts right here, right now.”

According to the news agency, MTC spokesman John Goodwin said the project would include the following

  • $55 million to convert an existing carpool lane from Martinez to Walnut Creek
  • $60 million to widen southbound Highway 680 through Walnut Creek
  • $12 million to tie the new infrastructure into the existing carpool lane from Rudgear Road to the Alameda County line

Funding for the project includes $51.3 million from the Bay Area Toll Authority, $36.9 million from Contra Costa County’s Measure J sales tax, $19.4 million from Regional Measure 2 toll funds, and $15.6 million from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s State Transportation Improvement Program. An additional $3.8 million is expected to come from additional MTC funding.

The work is expected to be complete in 2021.