MTC funded work on I-80 Solano Express Lanes continues

I-80 Express Lanes work
Mark Prado

Construction is continuing on Interstate 80 Express Lanes in Solano County, with MTC providing almost half the money for the project that will help the flow of traffic along 18 miles of the freeway.

The work — which started in May 2022 — is building 10 miles of new Express Lanes in the median of I-80 between Airbase Parkway in Fairfield and Leisure Town Road in Vacaville, just east of the I-505 Interchange. Later, workers will convert 8 miles of bi-directional carpool lanes into express lanes between Red Top Road and Airbase Parkway in Fairfield. 

The three-year project will combat growing traffic congestion in the Fairfield-Vacaville corridor. At Air Base Parkway, the busiest location, about 215,000 vehicles pass through daily. 

O.C. Jones is the contractor on the project, working on a stretch of freeway that hasn't been widened since 1973. The project comes at a welcome time, as Solano County rests between two mega regions, the Bay Area and the greater Sacramento area. Traffic is projected to increase by 35 percent by 2040. 

MTC has provided almost half of the $282 million needed to get the new Express Lanes built. The $140 million from MTC includes money from bridge tolls and from tolls on other MTC-operated Express Lanes.

In addition to helping fund construction, much of MTC’s commitment was for the planning, design, environmental and other work necessary to get to the construction phase. By investing early to get the pre-construction work done, MTC helped the I-80 Express Lanes qualify for state and federal dollars that make up the rest of the funding.

MTC, the Solano Transportation Authority and Caltrans District 4 are project partners. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments is working with Yolo County and Caltrans District 3 to add another 18 miles of Express Lanes from Davis to Sacramento.

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