I-405 Project to Deliver Measure M Promise, Caltrans Intends to Phase in HOT Lanes

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I-405 Project to Deliver Measure M Promise, Caltrans Intends to Phase in HOT Lanes

OCTA to add one regular lane in each direction between Costa Mesa and Seal Beach

ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority was informed today by Caltrans that the I-405 Improvement Project should include the Measure M commitment of one regular lane in each direction and add high-occupancy toll lanes at a later date.

With Caltrans selection of the project alternative, OCTA can now begin delivering the board-approved Measure M improvements as promised to voters. Caltrans intends to pursue funding for the high-occupancy toll lanes that will be added to help speed up commutes in one of the most heavily traveled stretches of freeway in the nation.

This step comes as OCTA and Caltrans near the end of more than a decade of study, public outreach and environmental review on ways to improve I-405. Three project alternatives have been studied in the area between SR-73 in Costa Mesa and I-605 in Seal Beach.

The alternatives reviewed in the environmental documents include:

  • Alternative 1: Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction at a cost of $1.3 billion
  • Alternative 2: Adding two general-purpose lanes in each direction at a cost of $1.4 billion
  • Alternative 3: Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction, and adding a high-occupancy toll lane that would combine with the existing carpool lane to create a two-lane Express Lanes facility at a cost of $1.7 billion.

This stretch of the I-405 carries more than 370,000 cars a day and that number is expected to increase approximately 35 percent by 2040.

As the ultimate owner and operator of the state highway system, Caltrans has the final decision on the project alternative. In making its recommendation, Caltrans noted that this project alternative provides long-term sustainable congestion relief by moving the most people per hour and offering trip reliability. Caltrans also said it provides the best travel-time savings to those who utilize I-405, not only in the project area but also from throughout Orange County and the region.

The final environmental document is expected to be finished early next year. Based on that schedule and utilizing the design-build method of construction to add one lane in each direction, OCTA’s project would get under way in 2016 and be completed in 2020.

For more information, visit www.octa.net/405improvement.

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