405 freeway expansion project that includes toll lanes kicks off in O.C.

Widening of a stretch of the 405 freeway in Orange County will finally kick off after years of planning. Ryan Chamberlain, director of the Caltrans district covering Orange County, told the O.C. Register:

“That corridor is one of the most heavily congested corridors in the nation. (Driver’s) are sitting in stop-and-go traffic, wasting time looking at tail lights instead of moving to where they need to be.”

The $1.9 billion project marks the largest of its kind in the Orange County Transportation Authority’s history, as well as the 405's history.

The 5 year project will result in a new freeway lane in each direction for the 16 miles between Euclid Street in Fountain Valley and the 605 in the Seal Beach area. After completion, the current carpool lanes will become toll lanes.

So if you take that stretch everyday, prepare yourself for construction headaches for the next few years. OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson told the Register:

“I would just ask the public to have faith and confidence in us. The end result will be worth it.”

Orange County's Measure M, a half-cent sales tax, will cover about $1.1 billion of the project. The federal government will pay $45.6 million and the state will add $89.7 million. 

The toll lanes are supposed to pay off a low-interest loan of $629 million.

Click here to read more at the O.C. Register.

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