Motorists in the East Bay can expect to see changes in their commute along Interstate 880 next month as Caltrans continues its process of adjusting metering lights for freeway on-ramps to relieve traffic in real time between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

The change to an adaptive ramp metering system will adjust the rate to reduce congestion as it happens.

This month, Caltrans started working on the project in phases, beginning in San Jose and Santa Clara County with work on the northern end of I-880 between the Montague Expressway interchange and the Alameda and Santa Clara counties line.

YouTube video
A demonstration of how adaptive ramp metering works, using U.S. 101 in Marin County as an example. (Video courtesy of Metropolitan Transportation Commission/YouTube)

Onramps in Oakland and Hayward will see changes to the metering in July, while I-880 from the interchange with I-280 to the Montague Expressway interchange in San Jose will switch to adaptive metering in August.

Caltrans will post signs at each affected on-ramp and warn the public that the metering lights will be off overnight from 8 p.m. To 5 a.m., which aligns with the hours of express lane operation on I-880.

Caltrans officials expect travel times to be more reliable and roads less congested with traffic following the implementation of the real-time system by making merging onto the freeway easier and safer.