Caltrans, as assigned by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has prepared a joint Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project. Caltrans is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). OCTA is the responsible agency and the project sponsor.
The Caltrans Notice of Determination (NOD) was filed with the State Clearinghouse on June 17, 2015 in compliance with Section 21108 and 21152 of the Public Resources Code. The NOD approves Alternative 3 as the Selected Alternative, the alternative to move forward for design and construction. This is in accordance of CEQA, which is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
The Caltrans NOD is available online at: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist12/DEA/405/index.php
The Record of Decision (ROD) was developed pursuant to 40 CFR 1505.2 and 23 CFR 771. 127. The ROD has been signed by the Caltrans District 12 Director on May 15, 2015 and approves Alternative 3 as the Selected Alternative, the alternative to move forward for design and construction. This is in accordance with NEPA, which requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions.
The Caltrans ROD is available online at: www.dot.ca.gov/dist12/405/index.htm
OCTA, as a responsible agency, filed a NOD with the State Clearinghouse on September 29, 2015 in compliance with Section 21108 or 21152 of the Public Resources Code.
The OCTA NOD is available online, click here.
Caltrans has studied the effects this project may have on the environment. The Final Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) was approved, and is available to view online at www.dot.ca.gov/dist12/DEA/405/index.php.
On July 24, 2014, Caltrans recommended Alternative 3 as the Preferred Alternative. Alternative 3 includes Measure M2 (M2) Project K as approved by the voters, which adds one general purpose (GP) lane in each direction on the I-405 from Euclid Street to the I-605 interchange and adds an express lane in each direction on I-405 from SR-73 to SR-22. The express lane would be combined with the existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, and these would be converted to express lanes providing two express lanes in each direction on I-405 between SR-73 and I-605. The westbound HOV connector from SR-22 to I-405 would also be operated as a express lane.
During the initial DEIR/EIS public review period in May 2013, Caltrans received comments on potential traffic impacts within the City of Long Beach. In an effort to address these comments, Caltrans prepared a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) to evaluate the existing and future traffic flow conditions within the Los Angeles County traffic study area including at a minimum, demand, capacity and level of service for the mainline freeway and arterial street intersections within the City of Long Beach not considered in the Draft EIR/EIS.
The I-405 Improvement Project Supplemental DEIR/EIS was released on Friday, June 28, 2013 and was available for public review and comment through Monday, August 12, 2013.
Link to Supplemental DEIR/EIS: www.dot.ca.gov/dist12/405/index.htm Public Notice
A public hearing was also held on July 24, 2013 regarding the Supplemental Draft EIR/EIS.
Click here to view the presentation
Click here to view the project boards
As required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Caltrans, in cooperation with OCTA, is preparing an Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the I-405 Improvement Project. The EIR/EIS analyzes factors that include, but are not limited to, the following: aesthetics, cultural resources, biological resources, hazardous wastes and materials, public services and facilities, water quality, floodplain, noise, air quality, recreation, community impacts, and transportation/traffic.
The I-405 Draft Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Impact Statement (DEIR/EIS), released in May 2012, included three build alternatives as well as a No Build Alternative. The draft EIR/EIS document is available on Caltrans’ website at the following address:
Throughout the project development process, OCTA worked closely with a variety of stakeholders to keep them apprised of the project status and alternatives under consideration. During the DEIR/EIS public review period between May 18 and July 17, 2012, OCTA and Caltrans held four public hearings and received more than 1,200 comments. Each comment received during the public review process will be formally responded to in the Final EIR/EIS.
On October 22, 2012, the OCTA Board of Directors selected Alternative 1 as the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). Alternative 1 meets the commitment promised to Orange County voters in Measure M2 (Project K) to add one general purpose (GP) lane in each direction from Euclid Street to Interstate 605 (I-605) and improve interchanges within the project limits.
Four Public Scoping Meetings were held in Fall 2009 to provide an early exchange of information and to give interested parties an opportunity to provide comments or identify concerns. Comments received at the meeting became part of the public record and will be considered in defining the scope of the project and developing the I-405 Improvement Project EIR/EIS.
View the scoping meeting materials.
In 2006, voters approved Renewed Measure M (M2). A project to add one general purpose lane in each direction on I-405 was included in M2. In implementing this directive, the proposed project would need to make best use of the existing available freeway property, update interchanges, and replace all local overcrossings according to city and regional master plans. A Project Study Report/Project Development Support (PSR/PDS) document for this project, then called the “I-405 Widening Project,” was completed in July 2008. The PSR/PDS document describes the transportation problem, identifies the scope of viable alternatives, and provides an estimate of the project development support resources required. A Preliminary Environmental Assessment Report (PEAR) was also prepared as part of the PSR/PDS. This process resulted in a determination that a joint Environmental Impact Report (EIR) / Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be required in compliance with CEQA and NEPA, respectively (Department 2008).
Report: Project Study Report/Project Development Support
A Major Investment Study (MIS) for the I-405 corridor from SR-73 to I-605 was completed in February 2006. The MIS addressed a variety of potential solutions to the mobility problems in the corridor. As part of the MIS process, the OCTA Board of Directors adopted a resolution supporting a Locally Preferred Strategy (LPS) of improvements to the I-405 corridor within the study area. A major consideration in the selection of the LPS was its limited ROW acquisition impacts. I-405 MIS Timeline
Report: I-405 Major Investment Study (MIS) Final Report
The questions and answers below provide current information on the project to improve Interstate 405 (I-405) in Orange County from State Route 73 to Interstate 605.
Why are improvements needed on I-405?
The I-405 freeway experiences heavy traffic congestion and conditions are expected to worsen. Built in the 1960s, the freeway carries between 257,000 and 370,000 vehicles per day depending on location. Near the L.A. County line, the I-405 is the most heavily traveled freeway in the nation and both the regular lanes and carpool lanes are congested daily during rush hour and on weekends.
Traffic along the corridor is expected to grow approximately 35 percent by 2040. Additional lanes and other improvements are needed to improve traffic flow, accommodate growing traffic demand, relieve congestion, and improve overall mobility. The I-405 Improvement Project is critical in order to accommodate expected employment, population and housing growth in not only Orange County but throughout Southern California.
What is planned for the I-405 Improvement Project?
The project will improve 16 miles of I-405 between the SR-73 freeway in Costa Mesa and I-605 near the L.A. County line. The project includes adding one regular lane in each direction from Euclid Street to I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. It also will construct the 405 Express Lanes, two lanes in each direction from SR-73 to I-605. The new express lanes – incorporating the existing carpool lanes and connectors that opened in 2014 – will give solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll, and carpoolers may ride in the lanes for free.
Where will vehicles be able to enter and exit the toll lanes?
There are seven access points in between SR-73 and I-605, giving drivers sufficient opportunity to reach every interchange and business along the corridor, including the Westminster Mall, car dealerships, Bella Terra, Goldenwest College and South Coast Plaza, and any other destination.
These intermediate access locations minimize right of way impacts to the adjacent community. Additional access points would likely have significant right of way impacts.
The intermediate access points at Magnolia/Warner and Bolsa/Goldenwest were selected largely to serve Beach Boulevard Beach Boulevard is roughly midway along the corridor, has the highest arterial volume of any of the arterials crossing the freeway, and has the largest interchange volumes in the corridor.
The graphic below depicts the 405 Express Lanes intermediate access locations:
Are FasTrak® transponders required to use the 405 Express Lanes?
The 405 Express Lanes will utilize electronic tolling to keep traffic flowing and there will be no cash payments or toll booths. Because of this, transponders will be required for customers to use the express lanes when they open. OCTA will continue to explore technology that may in the future allow drivers to use the express lanes without a transponder.
What is the overall benefit to the project to include the 405 Express Lanes?
Those who choose to pay a toll improve traffic for everyone by freeing up space in the regular lanes, including the additional lane in each direction that is being added as part of the project. Also, if there are excess toll revenues beyond operational, maintenance and financing costs, that provides funding for additional improvements in the corridor. As an example, to date the 91 Express Lanes has provided more than $15 million for improvements to the freeway and for public transit in the 91 corridor.
Adding Express Lanes, in addition to the new regular lanes, benefits all people who use the
I-405. Rush-hour commutes in the regular lanes on I-405 are expected to be reduced by almost 30 minutes versus only building one regular lane in each direction. The bottom line is you don’t have to pay one penny more and you’ll be home to your family a half-hour sooner.
What are the toll policy goals of the 405 Express Lanes?
The OCTA Board of Directors (Board), which is leading the freeway improvement project, voted to adopt a number of goals that would guide the development and implementation of the 405 Express Lanes toll policy. The goals focus on providing express lanes customers with a reliable commute while optimizing the number of cars that can utilize the lanes at free-flow speeds, and encouraging ridesharing and transit use.
The complete list of board-adopted 405 Express Lanes goals:
The 405 Express Lanes will use congestion management pricing. This type of pricing was pioneered on the 91 Express Lanes, also operated by OCTA.
Congestion management pricing is designed to optimize express lanes traffic at free-flow speeds. To accomplish this OCTA monitors hourly traffic volumes. Tolls are increased when traffic volumes consistently reach a trigger point where traffic flow can become unstable. If traffic drops below the optimal traffic volume, tolls are lowered to encourage usage.
The tolls can vary by hour, day of the week and direction of travel. Traffic volumes are continuously monitored and if warranted, tolls are adjusted quarterly. This approach balances traffic engineering with good public policy and gives customers an opportunity to know the toll price before they make their trip.
405 Express Lanes Initial Toll Policy (Adopted May 23, 2016)
What is the toll policy for carpools?
The graphic below depicts the initial 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy adopted by the OCTA Board on May 23, 2016.
Why will the toll structure change after 3 ½ years?
The OCTA Board negotiated terms and conditions with the State of California (Caltrans) to keep two person carpools free for a minimum of three years after the 405 Express Lanes open pending the results of the project traffic and revenue study. The approved initial toll policy will allow two-person carpools to remain free through January 2023. In the first 3 ½ years after opening, two-person carpools will remain free in non-peak hours.
What is the schedule moving forward?
Throughout the summer, OCTA will secure the project financing and enter into an operating toll agreement with Caltrans. A contract to design and build the project is expected to be awarded in late 2016. Construction is slated to get underway in 2017 and take approximately five years.
If you have further questions, please contact Christina Byrne, Community Outreach Manager, by calling (714) 560-5717 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adopted 405 Express Lanes Toll Policy Goals405 Express Lanes FAQ405 Express Lanes Terms & ConditionsPreliminary Traffic and Revenue Forecast for the 405 Express Lanes (April 25, 2016)
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.
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.
For property owners that were surveyed during the soundwall survey process, please click here to view a copy of the Noise Barrier Survey Report. Other soundwalls, such as replace-in-kind soundwalls, have been identified in the approved Noise Study Report (NSR) and amendments to the NSR available below:
Noise Abatement Decision Report (Sept 2011)Noise Study Report (June 2011)Noise Study Report Amendment 1 (May 2012)Noise Study Report Amendment 3 (Jul 2014)Supplemental Noise Abatement Decision Report (Dec 2014)
If you have further questions regarding these
matters, please contact Christina Byrne, Community Outreach Manager, by calling
(714) 560-5717 or by email email@example.com.
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.
There are several short-term and long-term steps that will be taken by OCTA staff, many of which require Board action.
Develop investment grade T&R study
Develop financing plan, including pursuing TIFIA loan
Develop operating toll agreement with state
Release Design Build Final RFP
March 28, 2016
Design Build Contractor award
Design Build Contractor notice to proceed
Design and build Project
91 Express Lanes
OCTA Administrative Office
550 S. Main StreetOrange, CA 92868