SR-55 Improvements

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SR-55 Corridor Overview

OCTA in cooperation with Caltrans is proposing improvements to the Costa Mesa (SR-55) Freeway between San Diego Freeway (I-405) and Santa Ana Freeway (I-5). The SR-55 corridor serves as a vital link to other major freeway systems within Orange County, such as the Riverside Freeway (SR-91), the Corona Del Mar Freeway (SR-73), I-5 and I-405. The SR-55 also is the only freeway providing a direct north-south connection between central Orange County and the coastal region. This freeway corridor ranks as one of the most heavily congested freeways in Southern California.

Project Description

The existing configuration of SR-55 corridor includes four general purpose lanes and one continuous-access high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction. The SR-55 project proposes to reduce congestion and increase freeway capacity for an existing four-mile stretch of the SR-55 in both the northbound and southbound directions, between I-405 and I-5. OCTA and Caltrans currently are conducting an environmental study which proposes to add new lanes and improve mobility for commuters within Orange County. There are currently four “build” alternatives as well as one “no-build” alternative that are being prepared for project analysis.

  • No Build Alternative - The No Build Alternative keeps SR-55 in a status quo condition. This alternative includes no additional lanes or merging lanes. 
  • Alternative 1: Add Auxiliary Lanes in Each Direction between On- and Off-Ramps - Alternative 1 would add auxiliary lanes (or merging lanes) in each direction on SR-55 between on- and off-ramps.
  • Alternative 2: Add One General Purpose (GP) Lane in Each Direction - Alternative 2 would add one general purpose lane in each direction on SR-55 from McFadden Avenue to MacArthur Boulevard.
  • Alternative 3: Add Auxiliary Lanes between On- and Off-Ramps and One General Purpose Lane in Each Direction - Alternative 3 would add auxiliary lanes between on- and off-ramps and one general purpose lane in each direction of SR-55 freeway from McFadden Avenue to MacArthur Boulevard.
  • Alternative 4: Add Auxiliary Lanes between On- and Off-Ramps and one High-Occupancy Vehicle Lane - Alternative 4 would add auxiliary lanes between on- and off-ramps and one high occupancy vehicle lane in each direction from the northbound and southbound I-405 connector to the northbound I-5 connector.

In addition to SR-55 mainline lane widening, additional improvements would include:

  • Standard shoulders for freeway and interchange ramps
  • Reconfiguration of various interchange ramps for increased ramp storage capacity
  • Additional through and turn lanes at ramp intersections
  • Improvements to nearby arterial street intersections affecting interchange operations
  • New and replaced structures including railroad overheads
  • Upgrades to existing flood channels and a storm drain bypass system

It is planned that a final design and construction of the project will be accomplished through subsequent phases of project delivery.

Community Outreach

The environmental phase will include a public review period. Additional information regarding a public hearing / meeting will be posted online as soon as the dates and locations are available. The project's public hearing is tentatively scheduled for Summer 2014.

Next Steps

Stay Connected

To schedule a presentation or for more information, please contact Sarah Swensson King at sarahking@octa.net.

Sarah Swensen

Project Contact

Sarah Swensson King
Manager of Community Outreach
(714) 560-5376
sarahking@octa.net