A $43.5 million renovation of the Benicia Bridge is on target to be finished in August — four months ahead of schedule — to provide less congestion and smoother travel on Interstate 680 across the Carquinez Strait, Caltrans says.

The upgrade of the 1.2-mile bridge connecting Contra Costa and Solano counties includes a fourth lane for southbound car and truck traffic, a new bike/pedestrian lane, and wide new shoulders as a safety buffer.
A second merging lane will be added for drivers entering the bridge from I-780. Traffic back ups there during the morning commute.
“There won’t be any backup (from I-780) with our new four-lane configuration for the bridge,” said Mo Pazooki, Caltrans project manager. “We’re coming in ahead of schedule and within budget on a project that will help traffic flows.”
He said good weather and a speedy contractor is making for early completion.
The renovation began in January 2008 and was scheduled for completion in December 2009. Now it appears the project will be done sometime in August, with the fourth traffic lane opening first and the bike lane soon after, Caltrans officials said. No official opening date has been set.
The Benicia Bridge used to carry traffic in both northbound and southbound directions when it was built in 1962 to replace the last major ferry for autos in the Bay Area. The old bridge was converted to southbound-only traffic in August 2007, when a $1.2 billion span was opened with five lanes for northbound traffic.