Widening I-80 from Davis to Sacramento: HOT Lane or HOV Lane?

Caltrans is studying a plan to widen 16 miles of Interstate 80 through Solano and Yolo counties, over the Yolo Bypass. Initially, the plan called for a carpool lane, but uncertainty about funding makes a toll lane a possibility.

June 5, 2018, 1:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

A Caltrans plan would build a 16-mile high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction from Dixon in Solano County through Davis and West Sacramento in Yolo County to the Sacramento River, report Kellen Browning and Tony Bizjak for The Sacramento Bee on June 4. [See Caltrans June 2014 "preliminary investigation" of the corridor improvement project.]

Perhaps the most challenging section would be the Yolo Causeway, the 3-mile elevated bridge and berm that crosses the Yolo floodplain [aka Yolo Bypass] between Davis and West Sacramento.

The project could cost $400 million. Caltrans plans to apply for state and federal grants to cover the cost.

However, if sufficient funding is not secured, Caltrans will consider a high occupancy toll (HOT) lane, aka express lane, as an alternative, "and if an economic analysis shows a toll lane makes sense."

Total cost for the project was described in a KCRA article last November as $1 billion, which involved "adding a carpool-bus flyover to bypass a congested interchange," and $800 million by FOX 40 on June 4.

Browning and Bizjak note that there are no toll lanes or toll bridges in the region.

The state has toll lanes in Northern California on I-680 and I-580, both in the East Bay. Toll prices change depending on congestion levels. In 2016, the average price per trip on the I-680 toll lane was $2.47.

Cyclists who travel between Davis and Sacramento on the narrow and noisy path on the Yolo Causeway would also see major relief, according to KCRA.

The project also includes removing the existing bike path attached to the westbound causeway, creating a separate bike-pedestrian path that will be safer and separate from I-80.

Construction for the widening would start in 2024, "at the earliest," according to FOX 40. The KCRA article notes the importance of the gas tax increase (SB 1 funds) passed by the legislature last year, the one likely to appear as a repeal initiative in the fall.

Caltrans will hold three public meetings on the project on June 6, June 14, and June 21 in Davis, West Sacramento and Sacramento, respectively, listed in the source article.

Hat tip to MTC News Headlines.

Monday, June 4, 2018 in The Sacramento Bee

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