I-5 Freeway Construction in Central O.C. Gets Going

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I-5 Freeway Construction in Central O.C. Gets Going

The I-5/Main Street carpool ramps in Santa Ana are scheduled to permanently close on Tuesday in preparation for their demolition

ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans have started construction on the I-5 Central County Improvements Project, which will add a second carpool lane in each direction on I-5 between SR-55 and SR-57.

The I-5 carpool ramps on Main Street in Santa Ana are expected to permanently close as early as 10 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9 in preparation for bridge demolition. The carpool ramps, which allow drivers to directly enter and exit the I-5 carpool lanes from Main Street, must be demolished to make room for the additional carpool lanes.

The I-5 Central County Improvements Project will help speed up commutes and alleviate bottlenecks on I-5 in Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin, an area traveled by 380,000 drivers every day. Traffic on that stretch of I-5 is expected to climb to more than 400,000 vehicles a day by 2035.

The project will remove the concrete barriers between the carpool and regular lanes and the carpool lanes will be striped for continuous access, allowing drivers to move freely between carpool and regular lanes.

Next week, crews will focus on Main Street as they prepare for the demolition of the Main Street carpool ramps this summer. Main Street will remain open during construction, though there will be intermittent lane closures. Upcoming activities include adjusting traffic signals, restriping lanes and installing temporary concrete barriers prior to closing the carpool ramp.

The $41.5 million project is funded with federal dollars and by Measure M, also known as OC Go, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2021.

For more information about the project and to sign up for construction alerts, visit www.octa.net/i5central.

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