Caltrans, Contra Costa County unveil northbound I-680 Express Lane options

Express Lane

Caltrans and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority invite members of the public to participate in a pair of early June meetings to learn more about the agencies' plans to add an Express Lane to northbound Interstate 680 between Walnut Creek and Martinez, and to weigh in on their newly released Draft Environmental Document for the proposed project. 

  • In-person meeting
    Wednesday, June 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Contra Costa Transportation Authority Offices
    2999 Oak Road, Suite 110, Walnut Creek
  • Virtual Public Hearing 
    Thursday, June 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Join the webinar online
    Call in to the webinar at (669) 444-9171 (passcode: 632886)

The proposed Express Lane project aims to close the existing carpool lane gap along northbound I-680 between Livorna Road in Walnut Creek and State Route 242 in Concord, and to convert the existing northbound carpool lane between Highway 242 and Arthur Road in Martinez to an Express Lane in order to relieve congestion, reduce travel delays and improve highway operations throughout the 11-mile Walnut Creek-to-Martinez corridor. 

Caltrans and CCTA identified four alternatives (as well as a no-build option) for the public to consider. These include three options that would add a lane to northbound I-680 between Livorna Road and Highway 242 and one that would convert an existing northbound general-purpose lane to an Express Lane.

The Express Lane on southbound I-680 between Martinez and Walnut Creek opened in 2021, creating a continuous 22-mile Express Lane through Contra Costa County. Tolling rules include:

  • All vehicles must have a FasTrak® toll tag to use the Express Lanes;
  • Carpools with two or more people, vanpools, buses and motorcycles travel toll-free with a FasTrak Flex toll tag set to the 2 or 3+ position;
  • Solo drivers of eligible clean-air vehicles (CAVs) pay half-price tolls with a FasTrak CAV toll tag; and
  • Other solo drivers pay the full toll to use the Express Lanes with either a standard FasTrak toll tag or a FasTrak Flex tag set to the 1 position.

Operating hours for Express Lanes are weekdays from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tolls rise as traffic increases and fall as traffic declines. Digital signs over the roadway display the toll rates for various destinations. Customers always pay the toll displayed when they enter the Express Lane, even if toll rates change during their trip. Toll-paying customers pay for each toll zone they enter. There are five southbound toll zones along I-680 from Martinez to San Ramon. More information about Bay Area Express Lanes may be found at

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