By Devin Fehely

SANTA CLARA (KPIX) — Caltrans held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for a project that will add 32 miles of express toll lanes to Highway 101 between San Bruno and Sunnyvale.

The agency hopes the new lanes will ease traffic on the stretch of 101 connecting San Francisco to Silicon Valley, one of the most congested corridors in the Bay Area.

Caltrans says buses, carpools with three or more people and motorcycles will be use the new lanes for free, but everyone else will have to pay.

“I think it’s really going to relieve traffic congestion,” said State Senator Jim Beall. “The express lanes are a key to solving the Bay Area’s transportation problems.”

The transit agency said the price for using the express toll lanes will vary depending on the amount of congestion on the road at the time.

The new express lanes will stretch from Highway 237 in Sunnyvale to Highway 380 in San Bruno.

Some drivers are not thrilled about the idea of having to pay extra to avoid traffic.

“It ain’t nothing but another rip-off,” said commuter Charles Thomas. “It’s another way of trying to get more money out of everybody. And the cost of living is so high, who could afford it anyway?”

“Maybe in the future I might be using it, but again it’s another expense,” agreed commuter Ferdz Rafanan.

Caltrans says construction will likely last until the middle of 2022.

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