Friday, January 12, 2007

Solano County Environmental study out for carpool lanes

Environmental study out for carpool lanes

Solano County's first carpool lanes can be built over the next couple of years without facing major environmental obstacles, according to a new report. An eastbound lane and a westbound lane are to be built in the median of Interstate 80 from Red Top Road to just east of Air Base Parkway in Fairfield, a distance of 8.7 miles. The project is to cost $80 million. Construction could start this summer with work on Green Valley Creek bridge, which must be widened. However, this is only a small part of the project, being done at that time to comply with laws protecting the steelhead fish in the creek.

Major work is to begin in 2008. All construction is to be done within the existing Caltrans right-of-way.... by 2010, the project will increase travel speeds by 14 percent in the carpool lanes and 4 percent in the regular lanes. Cars presently average 46 mph during the morning rush hour and 33 mph during the evening rush hour.... The lanes would be open to all traffic on weekends and during non-peak travel hours. Caltrans and MTC will determine which hours the carpool lane rules would be in effect

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