Caltrans’ U.S. 101 Project

Caltrans’ U.S. 101 Managed Lanes Project Awarded Envision® Silver for Sustainability

Caltrans’ U.S. 101 Managed Lane Project Under Construction

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in partnership with the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SMCTA) and the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG), is currently constructing express lanes on U.S. 101 in San Mateo County within the existing right-of-way. The existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes will be converted into express lanes from the Santa Clara County/San Mateo County line to Whipple Avenue. Caltrans is also adding an additional lane to northbound and southbound U.S. 101 from Whipple Avenue to I-380. This project will create 22 miles of express lanes in each direction of U.S. 101 in San Mateo County and provide a seamless transition to the express lanes being constructed in Santa Clara County.

The project aims to provide continuous traffic management in each direction on US 101 from the Santa Clara County/San Mateo County line to I-380 in San Bruno. The project is needed to move more people along the US 101 freeway, address congestion, and provide improved transportation options in the project corridor and region. This project is included in Plan Bay Area 2040, the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS) for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Caltrans evaluated the sustainability performance of this project and used Envision to identify additional opportunities to improve the project’s sustainability and resiliency profile. Caltrans submitted this project to the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure for Envision verification.  Subsequently, they earned an Envision Silver award—a testament to Caltrans’ commitment to and leadership in sustainability.

Caltrans is working closely with their partners and all the stakeholders to construct this award-winning sustainable project.

California Department of Transportation U.S. 101 Partners


  • Energy Conservation. This project will eliminate 57 existing light fixtures and replace 214 fixtures with highly efficient LED lighting. In addition, new safety lighting will reduce risks associated with the existing driving conditions. These energy conservation measures will reduce energy consumption by 21% compared to the industry standard.
  • Sustainable funding to support ongoing operations and maintenance and transit equity programs. The tollway is anticipated to generate revenues that will exceed annual operating costs. A new Joint Powers Authority will be responsible for directing excess funds toward transit equity programs, such as providing discounted fares to low-income adults.
  • Improved construction safety. Construction safety is a top priority for this project, which is currently being constructed. Safety is being improved by using a proactive Job Hazard Analysis technique to anticipate construction risks on the construction site before they occur. The technique includes an injury and illness prevention program and incentives to actively engage construction crew members in safety meetings and build workforce camaraderie.
  • Sustainable construction management requirements. Caltrans’ standards include requirements and policies to minimize construction impacts on the project in three key areas, including mitigating noise and vibrations resulting from project construction, thereby ensuring continued safety and wayfinding for pedestrians and vehicles during construction, and minimizing distracting and intrusive lighting. Furthermore, Caltrans’ Public Education and Outreach Plan outlines strategies to keep the public and other stakeholders informed during construction and includes feedback mechanisms for performance monitoring during construction.
  • Planning for sustainable communities. An extensive alternatives analysis was conducted to evaluate project options based on their ability to reduce congestion by encouraging carpooling and transit use, addressing travel-time reliability, increasing person throughput, accommodating technology and other design features to manage traffic, reducing congestion, and minimizing the degradation of general-purpose lanes over time. The project was selected based on its strong performance in these areas.
  • Improved public access. The project team worked with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a key stakeholder, to identify opportunities to fund public access projects in the vicinity, including trails and open space.

Dina A. El-Tawansy, District Director, Caltrans District 4:

“The Caltrans Bay Area Team is pleased to receive the Envision Silver award for the US-101 Managed Lanes Project. The project represents the successful partnership of multiple state, regional and local agencies as well as the private industry to reduce traffic congestion, improve travel time reliability and promote mode shift, carpooling and transit for all users on a critical corridor linking the economic centers between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. This award demonstrates the commitment of our team, partners and contractors to delivering innovative improvements to advance air quality, climate goals and a sustainable and efficient transportation network.”

Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Managing Director:

“The project team worked diligently with the community to collaborate and find ways to address climate-change risks, enhance social equity, protect the natural environment, and ensure safety. The Envision Silver award provides ample proof that everyone involved went above and beyond to deliver a resilient, sustainable, and equitable civil infrastructure project.”

Download the Project Profile announcement.

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