I-405 Improvements

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  • I-405 Improvement Project (SR-73 to I-605)

    Project Contacts 1 of 2
    NICOLETTE LA PIANA

    Community Relations Specialist

    (714) 560-5787

    Project Background

    The OCTA Board of Directors voted twice in the last couple of years to add one general purpose lane in each direction of the I-405 freeway, which was approved and is consistent with what was promised to voters in Measure M. However, because the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) owns and operates the state highway system, meaning they have full jurisdiction, they ultimately made the final project alternative selection. For more detailed information on previous phases of the project please click on the pdf link below.
    - Project background  



    Bridges/Overcrossings

    • The local streets are laid out in a grid system and then the freeway was overlaid at a 45 degree angle. So at many of the interchanges, there is both a north-south bridge and an east-west bridge that needs to be replaced.
    • Most bridges are reconstructed using a two-stage approach. This means the bridges will not be shut down completely, but will be built one half at a time. The one-stage bridges, will be demolished and rebuilt all in one phase and completely closed to the public during their reconstruction.
    • The high number of bridge replacements is one of the project’s critical challenges. We have and will continue to spend a lot of time working with the cities along the freeway on the sequencing of bridge construction to minimize disruptions to the surrounding communities as best as possible.

    Purpose & Mission

    • Reduce congestion
    • Enhance operations
    • Move more vehicles and people, more quickly
    • Provide trip reliability
    • Minimize environmental impacts
    • Build project generally within existing footprint
    • Limit right-of-way acquisitions

    Significant Features

    • Two new lanes in each direction (one GP and one tolled express lane)
    • 18 bridge replacements plus new and widened bridges
    • Interchange reconfigurations
    • Merge lane improvements
    • Arterial street improvements
    • New and replaced soundwalls
    • New bike lanes and sidewalks

    405 Express Lanes

    For detailed information on the 405 Express Lanes, please go to the 405 Express Lanes tab or click here.

    Property Acquisition & Sound Walls

    As part of the project, there are no full property acquisitions; there are some locations along the 16-miles of the project where we require temporary construction easements (TCE’s) or partial acquisitions.

    There are many sound walls that will be reconstructed or added as a part of the I-405 Improvement Project. Sound walls reduce the level of freeway noise, but do not eliminate it. Other soundwalls, such as replace-in-kind soundwalls, have been identified in the approved Noise Study Report (NSR) and amendments to the NSR available below:

    As part of the project, there are no full property acquisitions; there are some locations along the 16-miles of the project where we require temporary construction easements (TCE’s) or partial acquisitions.

    If you have further questions regarding these matters, please contact the Community Outreach Team, by calling 888.400.8994 or by emailing 405project@octa.net.

    Financing

    The Measure M project, being constructed in cooperation with Caltrans, will be funded mostly through a combination of local, state and federal funds, with the express lanes portion of the Project paid for by those who choose to pay a toll and use the 405 Express Lanes. OCTA secured a $629 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the I-405 Improvement Project, which will pay for a major portion of the $1.9 billion worth of freeway improvements set to begin construction by early next year. Orange County taxpayers will save $300 million in interest costs thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation TIFIA loan program.

    Project Partners & Stakeholders

    • OCTA
    • Caltrans
    • FHWA
    • The cities of: Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and the Community of Rossmoor
    • 40 separate utility owners
    • Orange County Flood Control
    • Union Pacific Railroad
    • Army Corps of Engineers
    • U.S. Navy
    • Emergency service providers such as Police and Fire

    Schedule & Next Steps:

    Construction is anticipated to start in early 2018 and will be completed in 2023.

    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, in November, 2016 and they are currently developing a project schedule. Please keep in mind that because this is a Design-Build project, it’s possible that work may be simultaneously performed in multiple areas the 16-mile stretch (I-605 to SR-73). To sign up for our email alerts, please go to the Stay Informed Tab. In the meantime, please contact our team should you have any questions. We are happy to assist.

    For information regarding employment and contracting opportunities please contact OC 405 Partners, comprised of OHL and Astaldi, directly by visiting their website http://www.oc405partners.com/.  

    Design-Build Contractor

    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, a joint venture team comprised of OHL and Astaldi, in November 2016.

    A joint venture is a new firm formed to achieve specific objectives of a partnership like temporary arrangement between two or more firms. Joint ventures are advantageous as a risk reducing mechanism and in pooling of resource for large projects. This type of partnership between multiple firms also occurred on the SR-22 Project (also a Design-Build project). One firm has a focus on design and one has a focus (or expertise) is construction. Due to this project’s massive scope and complexity, one firm is not capable of taking the entire project on by itself.

    During the procurement of the contract, OCTA was in search of design-build teams that are committed to safety, quality, have proven experience in administration, design and construction, will bring innovative design-build approaches to ensure timely completion, and are willing to partner with the OCTA and Caltrans for the mutual success of the project.

    Ongoing Community Outreach

    • The OCTA Community Outreach team is committed to educating the public on the project and responding to the community’s que and concerns. We are your resource for up-to-date information on the project.
    • Our teams outreach efforts include, but are not limited to:
    • Distributing important project information to the community via email, text alerts, Facebook and Twitter;
    • Sharing project detours and closures using WAZE and Google maps
    • Hosting neighborhood meetings;
    • Providing civic and community group presentations; and
    • Coordinating with city staff, elected officials, emergency service providers, as well as with the media.

    If you are interested in a presentation or briefing for your community or group, please email our team at 405project@octa.net.

     
     

    405 Express Lanes General Information  

    The questions and answers below provide current information on the project to improve Interstate 405 (I-405) in Orange County from State Route 73 to Interstate 605.

    Why are improvements needed on I-405?
    The I-405 freeway experiences heavy traffic congestion and conditions are expected to worsen. Built in the 1960s, the freeway carries between 257,000 and 370,000 vehicles per day depending on location. Near the L.A. County line, the I-405 is the most heavily traveled freeway in the nation and both the regular lanes and carpool lanes are congested daily during rush hour and on weekends.  

    Traffic along the corridor is expected to grow approximately 35 percent by 2040. Additional lanes and other improvements are needed to improve traffic flow, accommodate growing traffic demand, relieve congestion, and improve overall mobility. The I-405 Improvement Project is critical in order to accommodate expected employment, population and housing growth in not only Orange County but throughout Southern California.

    What is planned for the I-405 Improvement Project?
    The project will improve 16 miles of I-405 between the SR-73 freeway in Costa Mesa and I-605 near the L.A. County line. The project includes adding one regular lane in each direction from Euclid Street to I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. It also will construct the 405 Express Lanes, two lanes in each direction from SR-73 to I-605. The new express lanes – incorporating the existing carpool lanes and connectors that opened in 2014 – will give solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll, and carpoolers may ride in the lanes for free.

    Where will vehicles be able to enter and exit the toll lanes?
    There are seven access points in between SR-73 and I-605, giving drivers sufficient opportunity to reach every interchange and business along the corridor, including the Westminster Mall, car dealerships, Bella Terra, Goldenwest College and South Coast Plaza, and any other destination.

    These intermediate access locations minimize right of way impacts to the adjacent community. Additional access points would likely have significant right of way impacts.

    The intermediate access points at Magnolia/Warner and Bolsa/Goldenwest were selected largely to serve Beach Boulevard which is roughly midway along the corridor, has the highest arterial volume of any of the arterials crossing the freeway, and has the largest interchange volumes in the corridor.

    The graphic below depicts the 405 Express Lanes intermediate access locations:

    Are FasTrak® transponders required to use the 405 Express Lanes?
    The 405 Express Lanes will utilize electronic tolling to keep traffic flowing and there will be no cash payments or toll booths. Because of this, transponders will be required for customers to use the express lanes when they open. OCTA will continue to explore technology that may in the future allow drivers to use the express lanes without a transponder.

    What is the overall benefit to the project to include the 405 Express Lanes?
    Those who choose to pay a toll improve traffic for everyone by freeing up space in the regular lanes, including the additional lane in each direction that is being added as part of the project. Also, if there are excess toll revenues beyond operational, maintenance and financing costs, that provides funding for additional improvements in the corridor. As an example, to date the 91 Express Lanes has provided more than $15 million for improvements to the freeway and for public transit in the 91 corridor.

    Adding Express Lanes, in addition to the new regular lanes, benefits all people who use the
    I-405. Rush-hour commutes in the regular lanes on I-405 are expected to be reduced by almost 30 minutes versus only building one regular lane in each direction. The bottom line is you don’t have to pay one penny more and you’ll be home to your family a half-hour sooner.

    What are the toll policy goals of the 405 Express Lanes?
    The OCTA Board of Directors (Board), which is leading the freeway improvement project, voted to adopt a number of goals that would guide the development and implementation of the 405 Express Lanes toll policy. The goals focus on providing express lanes customers with a reliable commute while optimizing the number of cars that can utilize the lanes at free-flow speeds, and encouraging ridesharing and transit use.

    The complete list of board-adopted 405 Express Lanes goals:

    • Provide express lanes customers with a safe, reliable, predictable commute.
    • Optimize throughput at free-flow speeds.
    • Increase average vehicle occupancy.
    • Balance capacity and demand to serve customers who pay tolls as well as people who rideshare or use transit. 
    • Generate sufficient revenue to sustain the financial viability of the express lanes. 
    • Ensure all covenants in the financing documents are met.
    • Ensure any potential net excess toll revenues are used for Interstate 405 corridor improvements.

    The 405 Express Lanes will use congestion management pricing. This type of pricing was pioneered on the 91 Express Lanes, also operated by OCTA.

    Congestion management pricing is designed to optimize express lanes traffic at free-flow speeds. To accomplish this OCTA monitors hourly traffic volumes. Tolls are increased when traffic volumes consistently reach a trigger point where traffic flow can become unstable. If traffic drops below the optimal traffic volume, tolls are lowered to encourage usage.

    The tolls can vary by hour, day of the week and direction of travel. Traffic volumes are continuously monitored and if warranted, tolls are adjusted quarterly. This approach balances traffic engineering with good public policy and gives customers an opportunity to know the toll price before they make their trip.

    405 Express Lanes Initial Toll Policy (Adopted May 23, 2016)

    What is the toll policy for carpools?
    The graphic below depicts the initial 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy adopted by the OCTA Board on May 23, 2016.

    Why does the proposed 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy change after 3.5 years?
    Two goals of the 405 Express Lanes are: (1) balance capacity and demand to serve customers who pay tolls as well as people who rideshare or use transit, and (2) generate sufficient revenue to sustain the financial viability of the express lanes. The first 3.5 years after the 405 Express Lanes open is a ramp-up period. In order to continue to guarantee free-flow speeds and achieve the two goals listed above the toll structure must be adjusted.

    Why are two person carpools only free during certain hours and during the first 3 ½ years?
    The current traffic data shows that the existing carpool lanes do not provide a faster commute and the lanes are experiencing degradation - as you will notice, they often are moving just as slow as or sometimes slower than the regular lanes. This is the reason Caltrans studied carpool lanes and developed the HOV Degradation Report - http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/tm/docs/2015-HOV-degradation-report.pdf

    Will motorcycles be allowed to drive for free in the 405 Express Lanes?
    All vehicles, including motorcycles, must have a transponder in order to use the 405 Express Lanes. Per the toll policy, motorcycles are allowed free travel at all times and are eligible for the Special Access account.

    Will zero emissions vehicles be allowed to drive for free in the 405 Express Lanes?
    At this point in time, we are planning to treat zero emission vehicles similar to HOV3+ vehicles – allowing free travel (but they will still require a transponder). However, OCTA will comply with the legislation that is in place when the 405 Express Lanes open in January 2023. The current state legislation (which includes information on white [hybrids] and green [zero emissions] vehicle sticker programs) expires in 2019. If it is not extended, the OCTA Board of Directors may ask staff to develop a policy to address this matter. For more information on California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program, please visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevprog.htm

    What is the schedule moving forward?
    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, on Nov. 14, 2016 and they are currently developing a project schedule. At this point in time, we don’t know where construction will start within the 16-mile project area. However, please keep in mind that because this is a Design-Build project, it’s possible that work may be simultaneously performed in multiple areas. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in late 2022 with the 405 Express Lanes opening in January 2023.

    If you have further questions, please contact The Community Outreach Team, by calling 888.400.8994 or by emailing405project@octa.net.  

    Linked Resources & Documents

    Adopted 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy Goals
    405 Express Lanes FAQ
    405 Express Lanes FAQ - Spanish
    405 Express Lanes Terms & Conditions
    Preliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast for the 405 Express Lanes (April 25, 2016)

    Resources

    General Information

    Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Spanish Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Vietnamese Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Chinese Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Soundwall General Information
    I-405 Improvement Project General Information
    Bridge Construction Map

    The Project’s environmental documents can be found on the Caltrans website:

    Final EIR/EIS Documents

    Final EIR/EIS Materials (April 3, 2015 to present)

    Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement Public Notice (April 3, 2015)

    Supplemental Draft EIR/ EIS Materials (June 28 to August 12, 2013)

    Presentation: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Study Area Map
    Public Hearing Renderings
    Link to Supplemental Draft EIR/EIS document

    Draft EIR/EIS Materials (May 18 to July 17, 2012)

    Presentation: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Study Area Map
    Public Hearing Renderings
    Webpage

    Other Documents

    Design-Build Contract Letter of Interest
    I-405 Notice of Preparation
    I-405 Notice of Intent
    I-405 Scoping Meeting Notice
    Report: I-405 Major Investment Study (MIS) Final Report
    Report: Project Study Report/Project Development Support

    Board of Directors Items Year 2017

    Board of Directors Meeting August 14, 2017
    I-405 Project Update 08-14-17

    Board of Directors Items Year 2016

    Toll Operating Agreement with the California Department of Transportation
    Award of Design-Build Contract for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project
    Staff Report: Interstate 405 Improvement Project Initial Toll Policy and Preliminary Finance Plan
    Presentation: 405 Preliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast
    Staff Report: Approval to Release Request for Proposals for the Design and Construction of the Interstate 405 Improvement Project Through a Design-Build Contract
    Staff Report: Cooperative Agreements with the Cities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Westminster for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project

    Board of Directors Items Year 2015

    Staff Report: Approval of Short-listed Design-Build Teams for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (November 9, 2015)
    Staff Report: Approval of Assumptions and Options for 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy and Finance Plan (October 12, 2015)
    Staff Report: Federal Incentive Payment Program Modified Settlement Delegation Authority, and Adoption of California Environmental Quality Act Findings for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (September 28, 2015)
    Staff Report: Amendment to Agreement for the Additional Program Management Consultant Services for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project from State Route 73 to Interstate 605 (July 6, 2015)
    Measure M2 Quarterly Progress Report for the Period of January 2015 through March 2015 (June 8, 2015)
    Staff Report: Project Terms and Conditions, Design-Build Cooperative Agreement, and Next Steps for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (April 27, 2015)
    Staff Report: Funding for Interstate 405 Express Lanes Costs (March 9, 2015)
    Staff Report: Design-Build Cooperative Agreement with the California Department of Transportation for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (February 2, 2015)
    Overview
    Details

    Project Background

    The OCTA Board of Directors voted twice in the last couple of years to add one general purpose lane in each direction of the I-405 freeway, which was approved and is consistent with what was promised to voters in Measure M. However, because the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) owns and operates the state highway system, meaning they have full jurisdiction, they ultimately made the final project alternative selection. For more detailed information on previous phases of the project please click on the pdf link below.
    - Project background  



    Bridges/Overcrossings

    • The local streets are laid out in a grid system and then the freeway was overlaid at a 45 degree angle. So at many of the interchanges, there is both a north-south bridge and an east-west bridge that needs to be replaced.
    • Most bridges are reconstructed using a two-stage approach. This means the bridges will not be shut down completely, but will be built one half at a time. The one-stage bridges, will be demolished and rebuilt all in one phase and completely closed to the public during their reconstruction.
    • The high number of bridge replacements is one of the project’s critical challenges. We have and will continue to spend a lot of time working with the cities along the freeway on the sequencing of bridge construction to minimize disruptions to the surrounding communities as best as possible.

    Purpose & Mission

    • Reduce congestion
    • Enhance operations
    • Move more vehicles and people, more quickly
    • Provide trip reliability
    • Minimize environmental impacts
    • Build project generally within existing footprint
    • Limit right-of-way acquisitions

    Significant Features

    • Two new lanes in each direction (one GP and one tolled express lane)
    • 18 bridge replacements plus new and widened bridges
    • Interchange reconfigurations
    • Merge lane improvements
    • Arterial street improvements
    • New and replaced soundwalls
    • New bike lanes and sidewalks

    405 Express Lanes

    For detailed information on the 405 Express Lanes, please go to the 405 Express Lanes tab or click here.

    Property Acquisition & Sound Walls

    As part of the project, there are no full property acquisitions; there are some locations along the 16-miles of the project where we require temporary construction easements (TCE’s) or partial acquisitions.

    There are many sound walls that will be reconstructed or added as a part of the I-405 Improvement Project. Sound walls reduce the level of freeway noise, but do not eliminate it. Other soundwalls, such as replace-in-kind soundwalls, have been identified in the approved Noise Study Report (NSR) and amendments to the NSR available below:

    As part of the project, there are no full property acquisitions; there are some locations along the 16-miles of the project where we require temporary construction easements (TCE’s) or partial acquisitions.

    If you have further questions regarding these matters, please contact the Community Outreach Team, by calling 888.400.8994 or by emailing 405project@octa.net.

    Financing

    The Measure M project, being constructed in cooperation with Caltrans, will be funded mostly through a combination of local, state and federal funds, with the express lanes portion of the Project paid for by those who choose to pay a toll and use the 405 Express Lanes. OCTA secured a $629 million federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan for the I-405 Improvement Project, which will pay for a major portion of the $1.9 billion worth of freeway improvements set to begin construction by early next year. Orange County taxpayers will save $300 million in interest costs thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation TIFIA loan program.

    Project Partners & Stakeholders

    • OCTA
    • Caltrans
    • FHWA
    • The cities of: Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Westminster, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and the Community of Rossmoor
    • 40 separate utility owners
    • Orange County Flood Control
    • Union Pacific Railroad
    • Army Corps of Engineers
    • U.S. Navy
    • Emergency service providers such as Police and Fire

    Schedule & Next Steps:

    Construction is anticipated to start in early 2018 and will be completed in 2023.

    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, in November, 2016 and they are currently developing a project schedule. Please keep in mind that because this is a Design-Build project, it’s possible that work may be simultaneously performed in multiple areas the 16-mile stretch (I-605 to SR-73). To sign up for our email alerts, please go to the Stay Informed Tab. In the meantime, please contact our team should you have any questions. We are happy to assist.

    For information regarding employment and contracting opportunities please contact OC 405 Partners, comprised of OHL and Astaldi, directly by visiting their website http://www.oc405partners.com/.  

    Design-Build Contractor

    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, a joint venture team comprised of OHL and Astaldi, in November 2016.

    A joint venture is a new firm formed to achieve specific objectives of a partnership like temporary arrangement between two or more firms. Joint ventures are advantageous as a risk reducing mechanism and in pooling of resource for large projects. This type of partnership between multiple firms also occurred on the SR-22 Project (also a Design-Build project). One firm has a focus on design and one has a focus (or expertise) is construction. Due to this project’s massive scope and complexity, one firm is not capable of taking the entire project on by itself.

    During the procurement of the contract, OCTA was in search of design-build teams that are committed to safety, quality, have proven experience in administration, design and construction, will bring innovative design-build approaches to ensure timely completion, and are willing to partner with the OCTA and Caltrans for the mutual success of the project.

    Ongoing Community Outreach

    • The OCTA Community Outreach team is committed to educating the public on the project and responding to the community’s que and concerns. We are your resource for up-to-date information on the project.
    • Our teams outreach efforts include, but are not limited to:
    • Distributing important project information to the community via email, text alerts, Facebook and Twitter;
    • Sharing project detours and closures using WAZE and Google maps
    • Hosting neighborhood meetings;
    • Providing civic and community group presentations; and
    • Coordinating with city staff, elected officials, emergency service providers, as well as with the media.

    If you are interested in a presentation or briefing for your community or group, please email our team at 405project@octa.net.

    405 Express Lanes
     
     

    405 Express Lanes General Information  

    The questions and answers below provide current information on the project to improve Interstate 405 (I-405) in Orange County from State Route 73 to Interstate 605.

    Why are improvements needed on I-405?
    The I-405 freeway experiences heavy traffic congestion and conditions are expected to worsen. Built in the 1960s, the freeway carries between 257,000 and 370,000 vehicles per day depending on location. Near the L.A. County line, the I-405 is the most heavily traveled freeway in the nation and both the regular lanes and carpool lanes are congested daily during rush hour and on weekends.  

    Traffic along the corridor is expected to grow approximately 35 percent by 2040. Additional lanes and other improvements are needed to improve traffic flow, accommodate growing traffic demand, relieve congestion, and improve overall mobility. The I-405 Improvement Project is critical in order to accommodate expected employment, population and housing growth in not only Orange County but throughout Southern California.

    What is planned for the I-405 Improvement Project?
    The project will improve 16 miles of I-405 between the SR-73 freeway in Costa Mesa and I-605 near the L.A. County line. The project includes adding one regular lane in each direction from Euclid Street to I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. It also will construct the 405 Express Lanes, two lanes in each direction from SR-73 to I-605. The new express lanes – incorporating the existing carpool lanes and connectors that opened in 2014 – will give solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll, and carpoolers may ride in the lanes for free.

    Where will vehicles be able to enter and exit the toll lanes?
    There are seven access points in between SR-73 and I-605, giving drivers sufficient opportunity to reach every interchange and business along the corridor, including the Westminster Mall, car dealerships, Bella Terra, Goldenwest College and South Coast Plaza, and any other destination.

    These intermediate access locations minimize right of way impacts to the adjacent community. Additional access points would likely have significant right of way impacts.

    The intermediate access points at Magnolia/Warner and Bolsa/Goldenwest were selected largely to serve Beach Boulevard which is roughly midway along the corridor, has the highest arterial volume of any of the arterials crossing the freeway, and has the largest interchange volumes in the corridor.

    The graphic below depicts the 405 Express Lanes intermediate access locations:

    Are FasTrak® transponders required to use the 405 Express Lanes?
    The 405 Express Lanes will utilize electronic tolling to keep traffic flowing and there will be no cash payments or toll booths. Because of this, transponders will be required for customers to use the express lanes when they open. OCTA will continue to explore technology that may in the future allow drivers to use the express lanes without a transponder.

    What is the overall benefit to the project to include the 405 Express Lanes?
    Those who choose to pay a toll improve traffic for everyone by freeing up space in the regular lanes, including the additional lane in each direction that is being added as part of the project. Also, if there are excess toll revenues beyond operational, maintenance and financing costs, that provides funding for additional improvements in the corridor. As an example, to date the 91 Express Lanes has provided more than $15 million for improvements to the freeway and for public transit in the 91 corridor.

    Adding Express Lanes, in addition to the new regular lanes, benefits all people who use the
    I-405. Rush-hour commutes in the regular lanes on I-405 are expected to be reduced by almost 30 minutes versus only building one regular lane in each direction. The bottom line is you don’t have to pay one penny more and you’ll be home to your family a half-hour sooner.

    What are the toll policy goals of the 405 Express Lanes?
    The OCTA Board of Directors (Board), which is leading the freeway improvement project, voted to adopt a number of goals that would guide the development and implementation of the 405 Express Lanes toll policy. The goals focus on providing express lanes customers with a reliable commute while optimizing the number of cars that can utilize the lanes at free-flow speeds, and encouraging ridesharing and transit use.

    The complete list of board-adopted 405 Express Lanes goals:

    • Provide express lanes customers with a safe, reliable, predictable commute.
    • Optimize throughput at free-flow speeds.
    • Increase average vehicle occupancy.
    • Balance capacity and demand to serve customers who pay tolls as well as people who rideshare or use transit. 
    • Generate sufficient revenue to sustain the financial viability of the express lanes. 
    • Ensure all covenants in the financing documents are met.
    • Ensure any potential net excess toll revenues are used for Interstate 405 corridor improvements.

    The 405 Express Lanes will use congestion management pricing. This type of pricing was pioneered on the 91 Express Lanes, also operated by OCTA.

    Congestion management pricing is designed to optimize express lanes traffic at free-flow speeds. To accomplish this OCTA monitors hourly traffic volumes. Tolls are increased when traffic volumes consistently reach a trigger point where traffic flow can become unstable. If traffic drops below the optimal traffic volume, tolls are lowered to encourage usage.

    The tolls can vary by hour, day of the week and direction of travel. Traffic volumes are continuously monitored and if warranted, tolls are adjusted quarterly. This approach balances traffic engineering with good public policy and gives customers an opportunity to know the toll price before they make their trip.

    405 Express Lanes Initial Toll Policy (Adopted May 23, 2016)

    What is the toll policy for carpools?
    The graphic below depicts the initial 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy adopted by the OCTA Board on May 23, 2016.

    Why does the proposed 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy change after 3.5 years?
    Two goals of the 405 Express Lanes are: (1) balance capacity and demand to serve customers who pay tolls as well as people who rideshare or use transit, and (2) generate sufficient revenue to sustain the financial viability of the express lanes. The first 3.5 years after the 405 Express Lanes open is a ramp-up period. In order to continue to guarantee free-flow speeds and achieve the two goals listed above the toll structure must be adjusted.

    Why are two person carpools only free during certain hours and during the first 3 ½ years?
    The current traffic data shows that the existing carpool lanes do not provide a faster commute and the lanes are experiencing degradation - as you will notice, they often are moving just as slow as or sometimes slower than the regular lanes. This is the reason Caltrans studied carpool lanes and developed the HOV Degradation Report - http://www.dot.ca.gov/trafficops/tm/docs/2015-HOV-degradation-report.pdf

    Will motorcycles be allowed to drive for free in the 405 Express Lanes?
    All vehicles, including motorcycles, must have a transponder in order to use the 405 Express Lanes. Per the toll policy, motorcycles are allowed free travel at all times and are eligible for the Special Access account.

    Will zero emissions vehicles be allowed to drive for free in the 405 Express Lanes?
    At this point in time, we are planning to treat zero emission vehicles similar to HOV3+ vehicles – allowing free travel (but they will still require a transponder). However, OCTA will comply with the legislation that is in place when the 405 Express Lanes open in January 2023. The current state legislation (which includes information on white [hybrids] and green [zero emissions] vehicle sticker programs) expires in 2019. If it is not extended, the OCTA Board of Directors may ask staff to develop a policy to address this matter. For more information on California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program, please visit http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/zevprog.htm

    What is the schedule moving forward?
    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, on Nov. 14, 2016 and they are currently developing a project schedule. At this point in time, we don’t know where construction will start within the 16-mile project area. However, please keep in mind that because this is a Design-Build project, it’s possible that work may be simultaneously performed in multiple areas. Construction is scheduled to start in late 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in late 2022 with the 405 Express Lanes opening in January 2023.

    If you have further questions, please contact The Community Outreach Team, by calling 888.400.8994 or by emailing405project@octa.net.  

    Linked Resources & Documents

    Adopted 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy Goals
    405 Express Lanes FAQ
    405 Express Lanes FAQ - Spanish
    405 Express Lanes Terms & Conditions
    Preliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast for the 405 Express Lanes (April 25, 2016)

    Gallery
    Documents

    Resources

    General Information

    Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Spanish Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Vietnamese Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Chinese Fact Sheet: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Soundwall General Information
    I-405 Improvement Project General Information
    Bridge Construction Map

    The Project’s environmental documents can be found on the Caltrans website:

    Final EIR/EIS Documents

    Final EIR/EIS Materials (April 3, 2015 to present)

    Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement Public Notice (April 3, 2015)

    Supplemental Draft EIR/ EIS Materials (June 28 to August 12, 2013)

    Presentation: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Study Area Map
    Public Hearing Renderings
    Link to Supplemental Draft EIR/EIS document

    Draft EIR/EIS Materials (May 18 to July 17, 2012)

    Presentation: San Diego Freeway (I-405) Improvement Project
    Study Area Map
    Public Hearing Renderings
    Webpage

    Other Documents

    Design-Build Contract Letter of Interest
    I-405 Notice of Preparation
    I-405 Notice of Intent
    I-405 Scoping Meeting Notice
    Report: I-405 Major Investment Study (MIS) Final Report
    Report: Project Study Report/Project Development Support

    Board of Directors Items Year 2017

    Board of Directors Meeting August 14, 2017
    I-405 Project Update 08-14-17

    Board of Directors Items Year 2016

    Toll Operating Agreement with the California Department of Transportation
    Award of Design-Build Contract for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project
    Staff Report: Interstate 405 Improvement Project Initial Toll Policy and Preliminary Finance Plan
    Presentation: 405 Preliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast
    Staff Report: Approval to Release Request for Proposals for the Design and Construction of the Interstate 405 Improvement Project Through a Design-Build Contract
    Staff Report: Cooperative Agreements with the Cities of Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, and Westminster for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project

    Board of Directors Items Year 2015

    Staff Report: Approval of Short-listed Design-Build Teams for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (November 9, 2015)
    Staff Report: Approval of Assumptions and Options for 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy and Finance Plan (October 12, 2015)
    Staff Report: Federal Incentive Payment Program Modified Settlement Delegation Authority, and Adoption of California Environmental Quality Act Findings for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (September 28, 2015)
    Staff Report: Amendment to Agreement for the Additional Program Management Consultant Services for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project from State Route 73 to Interstate 605 (July 6, 2015)
    Measure M2 Quarterly Progress Report for the Period of January 2015 through March 2015 (June 8, 2015)
    Staff Report: Project Terms and Conditions, Design-Build Cooperative Agreement, and Next Steps for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (April 27, 2015)
    Staff Report: Funding for Interstate 405 Express Lanes Costs (March 9, 2015)
    Staff Report: Design-Build Cooperative Agreement with the California Department of Transportation for the Interstate 405 Improvement Project (February 2, 2015)
    Stay Informed

Overview Tab Content:

  • Project Overview

    OCTA in cooperation with The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is widening the San Diego Freeway (I-405) between State Route 73 (SR-73) and Interstate 605 (I-605).The project will improve 16 miles of I-405 between the SR-73 freeway in Costa Mesa and I-605 near the L.A. County line. The project includes adding one regular lane in each direction between Euclid Street and I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. In addition, the project will add the 405 Express Lanes, incorporating the existing carpool lanes and a new lane in each direction between SR-73 and I-605. The 405 Express Lanes will give solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll and give options for carpoolers to use the lanes for free. When the express lanes open, two-person carpools will pay a toll only during peak hours and carpools of three or more will be free at all times.
  • The general purpose lane portion of the project is a Measure M (Orange County’s half-cent transportation sales tax) project and will be funded by a combination of local, state and federal funds, with the express lanes portion of the project financed and primarily paid for by those who choose to pay a toll and use the 405 Express Lanes.

    Because of the high demand for the I-405 and the need to stay within the existing right of way, the project cannot provide enough additional lanes to eliminate congestion.  The 405 Express Lanes, however, will provide a fast, stress-free travel option. Because the amount of traffic in the 405 Express lanes will be optimized by raising and lowering tolls in response to traffic demand, the 405 Express Lanes will be more predictable and move more vehicles per lane during peak periods than the regular, general purpose lanes. Solo drivers in the 405 Express Lanes will pay the full toll and carpools are anticipated to be offered discounts or free travel. The toll policy has not been finalized yet but it will be designed to provide customers with a safe, reliable, congestion-free commute.  The 405 Express lanes will offer people a choice to travel faster when they absolutely need to.

    In 2040, it’s expected to take 29 minutes to travel during rush hour from SR-73 to I-605 in the general purpose lanes after improvements to the I-405 are complete. That commute can be reduced to 13 minutes if a driver chooses to take the 405 Express Lanes. 

    I-405 Schedule

    Construction is anticipated to start in early 2018 and will be completed in 2023.

    The Design-Build contract was awarded to OC 405 Partners, in November, 2016 and they are currently developing a project schedule. Please keep in mind that because this is a Design-Build project, it’s possible that work may be simultaneously performed in multiple areas the 16-mile stretch (I-605 to SR-73). To sign up for our email alerts, please go to the Stay Informed Tab. In the meantime, please contact our team should you have any questions. We are happy to assist.

    For information regarding employment and contracting opportunities please contact OC 405 Partners, comprised of OHL and Astaldi, directly by visiting their website http://www.oc405partners.com/.  

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 Note: Notifications are sent by email and our automated call system. Questions, please call Christina Byrne at 714.560.5717.

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