Solano County traffic jams could improve due to truck project

Solano County is raising $240 million for a project to replace its 70-year-old westbound inspection site with a state-of-the-art counterpart where the major freeways, I-80, 680 and Highway 12, essentially jam vehicles together; especially at peak commutes. 

"This is a mega-region and we sit at the heart of this mega-region. You have the Bay Area to the west. You have Sacramento to the west. You have the Port of Oakland, which is massive. You have a lot of freight," said Nick Burton of the Solano County Transportation Authority.

The fact is, the new site will be as much for beleaguered commuters as for increasingly impatient truckers. One of the greatest benefits of this facility is that it will take more trucks off the road, so there are no collisions on the road.

The new westbound site will be a half-mile to the east, taking trucks off the commute lanes sooner, decreasing congestion and lessening the chance of rear-end collisions "By separating the trucks from the cars and making those distances longer, we're actually improving those merges and so, they don't have those drastic slowdowns," Janet Adams of the Solano County Transportation Authority. 

"Ultimately it means less of a backup, less gridlock and less safety hazards," said CHP Officer Andrews Barclay.

Four new technologies will be able to look at more truck safety systems in far less time, continuing to roll without stopping unless a problem is found. 

"Using this technology we can actually find more things wrong that we might not have been able to find with just looking at it with the naked eye," said Barclay.

The time to get a truck through inspection at the 70-year-old facility across the freeway is 3 to 4 minutes. The new facility under 30 seconds. "It allows them to coast through at very even speeds," said Burton.

The number of trucks is already skyrocketing with many more to come, especially driverless trucks which never get impatient or tired and can, if needed, operate at any time.