Octa's transportation blog

Sturdy Girders Support I-5 South Construction

In mid-October, crews completed the placement of 27 precast concrete girders above the active Metrolink railroad at the La Paz Road Interchange. The concrete girders were placed as the primary support for the future northbound freeway lanes as part of the I-5 South County Improvements Project.

The project’s big rig team hauled the girders more than 76 miles from Perris to Mission Viejo. Each girder measures roughly 65 feet and weighs 38,500 pounds. Their combined weight is approximately one miillion pounds - the equivalant of 40 school buses or three blue whales. Throughout construction, the railway access remains open with no travel disruption to commuters.

The $580 million, 6.5-mile freeway widening project is being built in three distinct segments, with each segment spanning approximately two miles. Construction began in mid-2019 and is expected to be completed in late 2024.  Improvements include the widening of the freeway in both northbound and southbound lanes, extending the second carpool lane from Alicia Parkway to El Toro Road in both directions, converting the carpool lanes to continuous access, widening the Los Alisos bridge and modifying on- and off-ramps at Alicia Parkway and El Toro Road.

The improvements will help increase capacity and improve operations in south Orange County. Learn more about the project here.