The widening of the 405 Freeway in Orange County is about to begin after years of debate and it is expected to cost $1.9 billion. The project is expected to be completed in 2023 and will affect the 16-mile portion of the 405 between the 605 Freeway near Rossmoor and the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa. A new general-purpose lane and a new “express” toll lane in both directions are planned. The existing carpool lane in each direction will be converted into a second toll lane. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) stated,
This truly is a team effort. Everybody is looking at this project nationwide and statewide.
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) was expecting the tolls to range from $2.13 to $9.99 back in 2015, but a spokesperson claimed last month that it will be adjusted when the express lanes open in 2023. The 405 project has taken 15 years of planning and will also include widening or replacing nearly 20 bridges and renovating various freeway ramps. The plan faced years of debate because residents and leaders from cities along the 405 opposed the toll option. A spokesman for OCTA claimed that the project could begin this spring with restriping of the freeway and setting up concrete barriers. However, the complete construction schedule is still being set, while paving and bridge demolition are scheduled to start this summer. Hopefully everything goes well with the project and the construction doesn’t cause too much traffic.