Orange County Transportation Authority

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  • 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 the 16 miles of I-405 from the SR-73 freeway in Costa Mesa to the I-605 near the LA County line; it will add a general purpose lane in each direction from Euclid to I-605, plus a new express lane from the SR-73 to the SR-22. The new express lane and the existing carpool lanes, including the carpool connectors that opened in late 2014, will become the 405 Express Lanes. The 405 Express Lanes will be two lanes in each direction from SR-73 to I-605.
  • 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. 


    Soundwalls and Property Acquisitions

    There are many soundwalls that will be reconstructed or added as a part of the I-405 Improvement Project. Soundwalls reduce the level of freeway noise, but do not eliminate it. For more information on soundwalls click here.

    In regards to property acquisitions, there are no full residential or commercial property acquisitions. 


    If you have further questions regarding these matters, please contact Christina Byrne, Community Outreach Manager, by calling (714) 560-5717 or by email  

    OCTA Board Voted to Lead Full I-405 Project

    The Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors will maintain local control of the I-405 Improvement Project after voting on April 27, 2015 to take the lead on implementing both the general-purpose lane promised in Measure M and the express lanes, which will speed up travel for everyone in the corridor.

    OCTA staff will return to the Board with a draft 405 Express Lanes toll policy and a financing plan in early 2016. A traffic and revenue study will be performed to help determine how the 405 Express Lanes will operate. In addition, the Board’s action will result in any excess toll revenue remaining in the I-405 corridor to be spent on local transportation improvement projects.

    I-405 Schedule

    There are several short-term and long-term steps that will be taken by OCTA staff, many of which require Board action.



    Board Action


    Sept. 29, 2015


    Obtain CTC approval of Project

    Late 2015


    Shortlist DB teams and release DB draft request for proposals (RFP)

    Late 2015


    Develop toll policy options



    Develop investment grade T&R study



    Develop financing plan, including pursuing TIFIA loan



    Develop operating toll agreement with state



    Release DB RFP

    Early 2016


    DB award

    Late 2016


    Secure financing



    DB notice to proceed

    Early 2017


    Design and build Project



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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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