A construction project on Interstate 80 is being inspected after CHP data shows triple the amount of accidents in a particular stretch of road.
“You’re changing their commute. You’re changing the way they have to travel. So, it’s a new look,” Cal Trans Spokesperson Dennis Keaton said.
Keaton is referring to the $133 million dollar “Across the Top” project.
The project adds carpool and bus lanes and repairs concrete along a 10 mile stretch of Interstate 80 between Watt Avenue and West El Camino Avenue.
“As of July 19th, they had to switch traffic from the eastbound side into interior lanes,” Keaton said.
CHP data indicates that since the creation of the temporary “Express Lane” one month ago, there have been 37 traffic accidents, as compared to only 11 traffic accidents, the month before.
“It was a number that represented both sides of both eastbound and westbound,” Keaton said.
Keaton says the increase in traffic accidents includes the westbound side of Interstate 80, which does not currently have a temporary express lane.
“First of all, the majority of those accidents were minor accidents that had to do with fender benders where they were basically rear ended, and had to do with unsafe lane changes,” said Keaton.
Some drivers disagree.
“A lot of people don’t know about the middle lane and where to enter and exit. Yeah, it causes a lot of accidents,” driver Chelsea Cavana said.
“There’s nowhere to merge. It’s the drivers, not knowing what to do in the situation. A lot of them get nervous between the two center divides,” said Jake Lee.
“We take it very seriously. We understand that if this is a safety issue we have to look closely at it,” said Keaton.
Keaton said Cal Trans will review the CHP data in conjunction with an additional Cal Trans inspection to determine whether or not any adjustments to the lanes are necessary.