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Caltrans InfoEdge

Caltrans News Release

District 11

Feb. 10, 2017

Contact: Cathryne Bruce-Johnson

Phone: (619) 688-6670

I-15 Express Lanes Barrier Move Changes Begin Monday

SAN DIEGO—The Interstate 15 (I-15) Express Lanes barrier will be moved to accommodate three southbound lanes and one northbound lane Monday through Thursday mornings beginning February 13 to provide congestion relief for rush-hour commuters.

Over the past year and a half, the I-15 Corridor Management Team, a partnership between Caltrans, the San Diego Association of Governments  (SANDAG) and Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), has been carefully analyzing various Express Lane configurations and their effects on traffic flow during peak commute periods.

Data gathered by the team showed that there would be an overall operational improvement during the morning commute, Monday through Thursday, with the lanes configured for three southbound and one northbound lane; however, data did not show an overall benefit for the afternoon commute with the configuration reversed. Traffic on Fridays does not follow the same pattern, so the barrier will not be moved on Friday.

It takes approximately two hours for the barrier-transfer machine to move the entire 16-mile barrier in the middle of the Express Lanes. This typically occurs from 3:30 – 5:30 a.m. before the start of the morning commute. The Express Lanes are returned to the two northbound and two southbound lanes configuration following the morning commute. This move generally takes place between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Vehicles can continue to travel in the Express Lanes while the barrier is being moved.

The I-15 Express Lanes provide 20 miles of flexible travel between State Route 78 in Escondido and State Route 163 in San Diego. There are more than 16 access points where drivers have the flexibility to get in or out of the Express Lanes from the general purpose lanes. There are also five Direct Access Ramps (DARs) that make it easy to enter or exit the Express Lanes from local streets without merging across multiple freeway lanes.

Those who carpool, vanpool, take transit, or who drive a permitted clean air vehicle or motorcycle can use the Express Lanes for free. Solo drivers can get FasTrak  online orat Costco to get on their way in the I-15 Express Lanes. FasTrak tolls are automatically deducted based on trip length and traffic in the lanes. SANDAG operates the tolling system for the I-15 Express Lanes.

For more information about who can use the I-15 Express Lanes, how to use the Express Lanes, and for answers to frequently asked questions, please visit


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