BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — In the East Bay, new signs above the freeways aim to make the corridor freeways a little ‘smarter.’

The slow moving traffic is a sign of times – more workers, more commuters, more headaches.

But the new I-80 Smart Corridor project could provide some relief, warning drivers of accidents ahead. The system went live Thursday.

About 100 signs are mounted on the 11 structures over the westbound lanes of I-80 in the 20-mile stretch leading up to the Bay Bridge.

According to Caltrans, that is where drivers face about a 30 minute delay in their morning commute.

“We are hoping to relief in term of reducing travel time delay. 10 percent is our goal,” Shannon Brinias with Caltrans said.

Caltrans animations show how the system works.

  • Green arrows means good to go.
  • Yellow ‘X’ means there’s a problem ahead.
  • Red ‘X’ means a crash is blocking the lane, letting drivers know to move over when it’s safe.

Caltrans says half of the crashes that happen on the stretch of freeway are secondary collisions, meaning they happen after the first crash when there is a long back up.

“We are hoping to reduce especially those secondary collisions and a similar project in Seattle reduced those collisions by 25-percent on weekend.11-percent overall,” Brinias said.

Caltrans is hoping for at least five minutes of drive-time savings.

The entire I-80 corridor project cost taxpayers $80 million.

For more info on the project, click here.



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