During its meeting on August 14, the OCTA Board of Directors received an update on the I-405 Improvement Project from Jeff Mills, OCTA’s I-405 Project Program Manager. The project has been “moving full speed ahead” since reaching a major financing milestone a few weeks ago that allowed the contractor to proceed with design and construction.
OCTA officials signed final documents with the U.S. Department of Transportation on July 26 for a $629 million loan that will cover about one-third of the $1.9 billion freeway project. A final design and construction schedule will be finalized in the next few months and the project is expected to break ground early next year.
The I-405 Improvement Project includes adding one regular lane in each direction between Euclid Street and I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. In addition, the project will add the 405 Express Lanes, incorporating the existing carpool lanes and a new lane in each direction between SR-73 and I-605. The 405 Express Lanes will give solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll and give options for carpoolers to use the lanes for free.
The project will improve travel times and reduce congestion on one of the most heavily traveled highways in the nation. It is estimated that in 2040, during rush hour, driving the 16-mile stretch of the project will take 29 minutes in the regular lanes and 13 minutes in the 405 Express Lanes. That compares to 133 minutes and 121 minutes, respectively, if the improvements are not made.
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