Bridge Toll Funds Move Solano County Freeway Projects Forward

Dec 15, 2010, 17:57 ET from Metropolitan Transportation Commission

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today allocated $22 million of bridge toll money to the Solano Transportation Authority (STA) to help finance environmental documentation and preliminary engineering for key improvements to the Interstate 80 corridor in Solano County. The commitments include $7 million for planned upgrades to the I-80/I-680/State Route 12 interchange in Cordelia, plus $15 million to advance the construction of carpool/Express Lanes along Interstate 80 between Air Base Parkway and Interstate 505, and to convert to Express Lanes the existing carpool lanes between Red Top Road and Air Base Parkway. Express Lanes promote fast and reliable travel times by offering access to solo drivers willing to pay a toll, as well as toll-free access for carpools and buses.

"These projects are vital not only to Solano County commuters but to thousands of people from throughout the Bay Area who travel through Solano County on their way to Sacramento, the Sierra or elsewhere," explained Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering, who represents Solano County on the Commission. "MTC's commitment allows us to take the first steps on the long road toward getting these much-needed projects completed."

MTC allocated the $15 million for environmental and preliminary engineering work on the I-80 Express Lanes projects through the Regional Measure 2 toll program approved by Bay Area voters in 2004. While funding for design, right-of-way acquisition or construction of the I-80 Express Lane projects has not yet been identified, the projects are part of the Commission's long-range plan for development of a comprehensive Express Lane network throughout the region. The Bay Area's first Express Lane opened earlier this fall on a 14-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 680 between State Routes 84 and 237 in Alameda and Santa Clara counties.

The Solano Transportation Authority will use the additional $7 million allocated by MTC to help pay for the environmental and preliminary engineering needed to move forward with development of the next two phases of the Initial Interchange Construction Package for the I-80/I-680/State Route 12 junction. These include reconstruction of the Interstate 680/Red Top Road interchange as well as improvements to the connector from westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 680. STA is still working to identify a source of construction funds for these projects.

MTC is the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area's transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency.

SOURCE Metropolitan Transportation Commission