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Construction begins for toll I-80 express lanes between Fairfield, Vacaville

FAIRFIELD – A three-year construction project began Monday to add toll express lanes along the heavily-traveled Interstate 80 corridor between Fairfield and Vacaville.

According to Caltrans, the $243 million project will add express lanes in both the eastbound and westbound directions between Red Top Road in Fairfield and Leisure Town Road in Vacaville. Eight miles of carpool lanes between Red Top and Air Base Parkway in Fairfield will be converted to the toll lanes, while Caltrans will build the remaining 10 miles from Air Base Parkway to Leisure Town Road.

Completion of the express lanes is set for 2025.

"The express lane project will help break the logjam in the heart of Solano County by adding an express lane in each direction between Fairfield and Vacaville," said Dina El-Tawansy, director of Caltrans District 4.

Construction of the lanes comes as traffic on the corridor, which connects the Bay Area and Sacramento, is expected to increase in the coming years. According to Caltrans, about 215,000 vehicles a day pass through the freeway at Air Base Parkway, which is expected to increase 35% by 2040.

Like other express lanes in the Bay Area, a FasTrak Flex transponder would be required to use the lanes. Vehicles with 3 or more occupants will be allowed to use the lanes for free, but vehicles with 1 or 2 occupants would pay a toll, which is determined by the amount of congestion on the roadway.

Currently, express lanes are in operation on stretches of Interstate 680 from Martinez to San Ramon and from Sunol to Milpitas. Lanes are also operating along Interstate 580 between Pleasanton and Livermore, Interstate 880 from Oakland to Milpitas, Highway 237 from Milpitas to Sunnyvale and Highway 101 from Redwood City to Sunnyvale.

Caltrans said additional express lanes are planned for the Bay Area in the coming years, with the goal of 600 miles of lanes in the region by 2035.

About half of the project funding, $123 million, is being provided by Senate Bill 1, a $54 billion transportation package passed by the legislature in 2017.

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