Transportation

Work starts on Highway 101 Express Lanes project in San Mateo

Groundbreaking of the Highway 101 Express Lanes project in San Mateo
Groundbreaking of the Highway 101 Express Lanes project in San Mateo. John Goodwin.

The Highway 101 Express Lane Projects broke ground Friday in San Mateo.

The project will deliver 32 miles of interrupted express lanes in both directions on U.S. 101 between Interstate 380 in San Bruno and State Route 237 in Sunnyvale.

The express lanes will reduce congestion in the corridor, improve travel times and reliability, encourage carpooling and transit use, increase traffic flow and use modern technology to manage traffic.

The “express lane” concept is straightforward: Solo drivers can pay to use carpool lanes using Fastrak. That money can be used to finance local transportation projects. Carpools of three or more can use the lane at no charge.

The toll amounts could vary by time of day, with the highest rates charged during peak commute periods, with lower rates during off-peak hours. The plan is backed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The project will cost $567 million and received $255 million in Senate Bill 1 gas tax dollars to get off the ground. The work is expected to be completed by the middle of  2022.

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