BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Beginning in May, Caltrans will begin a major overhaul of a busy traffic interchange in Berkeley on Gilman Ave. at Interstate Highway 80.

The Gilman Interchange Improvement Project will result in a new configuration where I-80 meets Gilman Ave. near the Albany border and include a new pedestrian bridge and two roundabouts.

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According to Caltrans, the purpose of the project is to improve traffic mobility on Gilman Street between West Frontage Road and 2nd Street through the I-80 interchange so that congestion is reduced and merging and turn conflicts are minimized.

The project also aims to close the gap in local and regional bicycle facilities through the I-80/Gilman Street interchange and provide access for bicycles and pedestrians traveling between the Bay Trail and North Berkeley.

Tess Lengyel, the Executive Director from Alameda County Transportation Commission said the changes will pave the way for a more efficient and safer commute.

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Gilman Interchange Improvement Project Interview with Alameda County Transportation Commission Executive Director Tess Lengyel

“This interchange has safety issues that are 35% to 110% above the state averages in California in collisions and fatalities,” Lengyel said. “So, we’re putting in two roundabouts, which according to the Federal Highway Safety Administration, when you put in roundabouts, you can reduce those fatalities and incidences by about 90%.

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Completion of the project is expected by the summer of 2023. In the meantime, detours will be in place along Gilman Street between West Frontage Road and 5th Street through the I-80 interchange, in Northwest Berkeley.