One of the Bay Area's most congested afternoon commutes is about to see some relief as a long-anticipated express lane on northbound Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade opened up to vehicles Thursday.
Caltrans along with the Alameda County Transportation Commission announced the official opening with a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The new express lane, between south of Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont and the junction at Highway 84 in Sunol, initially will be open to carpools with two or more persons, vanpools, motorcycles and transit vehicles, the agencies said.
Eventually, the express lane will allow access to solo drivers for a toll, with the goal of reducing congestion.
"We’re excited to help commuters and other motorists arrive at their destinations quickly and efficiently while having choices as to how they travel," Caltrans Bay Area District 4 Director Tony Tavares said in a statement. "Reducing the time spent in traffic reduces the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere."
While the northbound express lane is officially open to motorists, improvements to the southbound I-680 express lane are still in progress, Caltrans said.
Tolling in both directions will begin in spring 2021.
For more information on the project, visit the ACTC website.