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Carpool Lanes Opening On 805 Freeway

Photo credit: Brian Auer

San Diego freeway traffic at night where Interstate 5 and Interstate 805 merge, taken on Feb. 12, 2008.

San Diego civic and transportation leaders on Thursday celebrated the near completion of a project that added carpool lanes and direct access ramps on the Interstate 805 in the Golden Triangle.

The $119 million project was designed to relieve traffic in a chronically congested area that's home to many of San Diego's high-tech and life sciences companies.

Workers built four miles of carpool lanes from state Route 52 to Mira Mesa Boulevard and a south-facing direct access ramp at Carroll Canyon Road. The ramp will allow carpools, vanpools, permitted clean air vehicles and motorcycles to directly enter and exit carpool lanes without weaving through regular freeway lanes.

Laurie Berman, the Caltrans district director, said the new lanes will provide faster and more reliable options for drivers, and will connect with other so-called "high-occupancy vehicle lanes" to the north.

"Commuters will be able to travel on a continuous 13-mile stretch of HOV lanes between state Route 52 on Interstate 805 and Lomas Santa Fe on I-5 (in Solana Beach)," Berman said.

The project was funded by the TransNet half-cent sales tax, along with state and federal money.

The facilities are scheduled to open to the public in about a week, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.

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