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New Lanes To Ease I-680 Traffic Through Contra Costa County

Motorists on Interstate Highway 680 in Danville and San Ramon will soon have an easier, safer time merging onto the busy freeway.

Two new 2-mile-long merging lanes will soon open in each direction of Highway 680 through Danville and parts of San Ramon, according to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which partnered with Caltrans on the project.

Dubbed "auxiliary lanes," the lanes stretch from Sycamore Valley Road in Danville to Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon.

The northbound lane is set to open on Friday and the southbound portion will open on July 1, according to the CCTA. The additional lanes are designed so that motorists can merge more safely into traffic while entering Highway 680 in the highly trafficked Danville-San Ramon area.

The $34.3 million auxiliary lanes are the final part of a three-phase, eight-year project meant to ease congestion and boost safety on that stretch of Highway 680.

"Completion of this final segment helps improve mobility by allowing traffic to safely enter and exit with easier mobility onto the freeway," Caltrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi said.

Federal funding for the project covered about $21 million, area developer fees accounted for about $11 million, while the state and a county half-cent transportation sales tax each provided about $1 million for the project, according to the CCTA.

About three weeks of night work in the freeway's median lanes will still need to be completed this month, and should be done by July 25, according to the transportation authority.

Landscaping work along the new lanes is expected to be completed later this year.

Part of the project also included decorative oak leaves on new retaining walls near the Greenbrook Drive overcrossing, in keeping with the town of Danville's oak tree symbol.

--Bay City News

Oriana Murray June 26, 2014 at 02:20 PM
They spend $34mil for 2 miles of merging lanes in each direction instead of putting in a Bart line to Silicon Valley. In ONE of the many new buildings in Walnut Creek, 4 1/2 blocks from Bart, the city allowed 456 new parking stalls. Huh? Where will those people be driving? Yes, we need housing, but one of the main routes, 680N/S, has no viable mass transportation. So much for getting us out of our cars and living where we work. People like living in the suburbs, BECAUSE they are not large cities. So give us the transportation where the action is. Bullet train?! What the.....
John McCormick June 26, 2014 at 08:11 PM
I travel 680 every day from Lafayette to Pleasanton. I have watched these lanes being carved out since day 1. I can say there is almost never a backup where they built out the lanes. As a very frequent 680 commuter who would love nothing more than to speed that drive up, it seems like a complete waste of money. I actually did a bit of research on-line a year ago trying to figure out the justification for this boondoggle and found nothing. Want to help the 680 commute? Rationalize all the lanes that keep terminating around South Main and Alcosta, forcing everyone to continuously merge left.
George March June 26, 2014 at 08:21 PM
How nice for Danville to get state-paid luxury lanes added to their stretch of I680 - hopefully folks there understand they are HIGHWAY SPEED lanes not just a town frontage road. The luxury lane CalTrans added SB 680 from the Hwy4 merge to Chilpancingo is a BUST as folks, trained by CalTrans to stop at freeway entrances by "metering lights"-even when there are none, just have no clue that they have a whole mile to get up to speed before merging. Drivers who use that lane as a frontage road RARELY get up to freeway speed as they saunter along forcing an almost continuous slowdown and backup on the Hwy4E-I680S switchover lane when there is NO NEED for this to happen. Other than having a CHP unit onsite pull over below-speed offenders everyday, CalTrans might benefit posting the Freeway speed limit sign at the creek overcrossing bridge where folks tend to step on the brakes and SHOULD be stepping on the accelerator. If they see a sign, then just maybe they'll understand that merging AT freeway speed should be the norm rather than the exception.

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