Octa's transportation blog

405 Express Lanes Expected to Open December 1

Travelers on one of the nation’s busiest highways are about to see their drive improve as the 405 Express Lanes and two new regular lanes open to traffic December 1 as part of the I-405 Improvement Project.

OCTA broke ground on the project in 2018 to improve travel times and accommodate an expected growth in employment, population and housing throughout the region.

The project is adding one regular lane in each direction of the I-405 between Euclid Street in Fountain Valley and I-605 in Seal Beach as promised to voters through OC Go, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, also known as Measure M.

In addition, the project is constructing the 405 Express Lanes by combining the existing HOV lane with a new lane in both directions between SR-73 in Costa Mesa and I-605 at the Orange County border with Los Angeles County. This will give options to carpoolers to travel for free and solo drivers the choice to speed up their commute for a toll. Carpools of two will need to pay at peak commute times.

The 405 Express Lanes includes two lanes in each direction in the center of the freeway. Vehicles are required to have a FasTrak transponder and a valid account with any toll agency in California to enter the 405 Express Lanes, which will provide drivers with a safe, reliable commute, while maximizing the number of cars that travel at free-flow speeds.

The new regular lanes and the 405 Express Lanes are anticipated to open to drivers on December 1.

The $2.16 billion I-405 Improvement Project is financed with a combination of local, state and federal funds, with the majority of funding from OC Go.

The express lanes portion of the project is not funded with local dollars but instead is paid for through a federal Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan that will be repaid solely by drivers who choose to pay a toll.

Toll revenue collected beyond what it costs to repay the loan will fund transportation improvements for everyone who travels through the 405 corridor – whether or not they choose to use the express lanes.

For more information about the 405 Express Lanes, visit here.

For more information about the I-405 Improvement Project, visit here.