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SAN JOSE, CA-The accident-prone, traffic-choked 12-mile stretch of highway between the Summit and Interstate 280 is slated for $52 million in improvements, which are expected to ease the suffering and increase the safety of its 61,000 daily travelers. The revamping will add more merge lands, ramps, and even a tunnel at the interchange with Highway 85. Construction is not expected to start for at least another year, and is likely to take two years once begun.

This week Santa Clara County announced the improvements, which are a part of the tax measure approved by voters in 1996. According to the Valley Transportation Authority, the project is targeting the worse bottlenecks and traffic hazards, such as the merge from southbound I-280 onto 17, the exit at Hamilton Avenue and weaving traffic between 85 and Lark Avenue. The most notable revision is the high-speed ramp, which will replace the Interstates 85 and 17 interchange. Another will be the redesign of exit and entrance lanes between I-85 and Lark Avenue, in which one ramp will be raised over another.

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