Paying to avoid traffic is in the works for congestion along Yolo Causeway

Local News

YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) – In the near future, drivers may have the option of paying to avoid congestion along the Yolo Causeway. 

Traffic on eastbound Interstate 80 in Davis is not just a rush-hour issue. 

“And so it is no longer an early-morning and late-afternoon problem, it is an all-day problem, and it is an all-weekend problem,” said Congressman John Garamendi, D-Davis. 

Garamendi, on Wednesday, announced that $85.9 million is on the way from the federal government to help fix the issue. A 17-mile stretch will have four lanes in each direction instead of three. 

“Everyone had their fingers crossed for this big federal grant to come through,” said Vice Mayor of Davis Lucas Frerichs. 

“Right now, if you’re traveling on Interstate 80, you’re going to be deadlocked in traffic,” said Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor. 

Frerichs and Saylor are members of the Yolo County Transportation District. The plan at the moment for the project is to make the additional lanes into stretches of toll lanes, similar to the FasTrak system in the Bay Area. 

Paying will not be required for other lanes. 

“It’s an extra tool in the tool kit right. You have a lot of options. Folks can certainly just be in the normal lanes, never having to pay any additional costs, but also if they want that ability when congestion is pretty high, they have the ability to use that toll lane,” Frerichs said. 

In order to add those lanes, no widening needs to be done even on the elevated portion of the causeway. Those who have been in the planning process say there is plenty of room already on the road. 

“We won’t add dimension to it. We will restripe that part because there is sufficient room between the shoulders on both sides and the existing lanes are wider than they need to be, so that’s where the restriping comes into play,” Saylor said. 

The $86 million from the Transportation Department will not be enough to cover the total cost of the project, but those FOX40 talked to Wednesday say the federal money will be able to help secure other money needed. 

Some environmental studies also need to take place before it happens, but if all goes to plan, construction could start in 2023. 

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