OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Express lanes on Interstate Highway 880 between Milpitas and Oakland are scheduled to open late in the summer of 2020, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said.

Workers are converting to express lanes the existing Highway 880 HOV lanes that run from Hegenberger Road in Oakland to Dixon Landing Road in Milpitas in the southbound direction and from Dixon Landing Road to Lewelling Boulevard in San Lorenzo in the northbound direction.

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The MTC, which is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, said nearly all of the civil construction work has been completed and ongoing work includes installing, connecting and testing tolling equipment and connecting fiber cable for future traffic monitoring in the corridor.

The MTC says the express lanes are primarily intended to improve traffic flow for buses and carpools of three or more people, which will travel free in the lanes.

Two-person carpools and clean-air vehicles will pay partial tolls and solo drivers will pay full tolls. The tolls will be based on traffic volume.

Fastrak Flex Toll Tag. (CBS)

Fastrak Flex Toll Tag. (CBS)

The MTC said work near the Hacienda overcrossing in San Leandro to improve drainage, finish the retaining wall and complete paving on southbound Highway 880 is substantially complete.

The transportation agency said the toll system integration team is working south to north in the corridor to install 29 overhead variable toll-messaging signs known as VTMS and 12 of them have been installed so far.

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Crews are continuing to install toll tag readers and pull cable for data and power.

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The MTC said crews are also starting to test the tolling equipment and the tests will occur during the day, so drivers may see messages on the VTMS or flashing enforcement beacons and may hear their toll tags beep.

But the agency said drivers won’t be charged tolls because the tolling equipment is in the “non-tolling” mode.

The MTC said drivers also should expect shoulder lane closures during the day and night, intermittent nighttime lane closures, construction equipment on shoulders, nighttime noise from drilling and vehicle back-up alarms, enforcement beacons flashing “1, 2 or 3” and VTMS displaying testing messages such as “TEST 1.”

In the future, there will be a second test of the median lights when PG&E connects power to the remaining services and paving and striping will be completed where crews widened the highway near the truck scales in Fremont.

In addition, there will be continued installation of variable toll messaging signs and testing of toll system equipment.

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