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Relief for orange crush commuters?

July 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new proposal to ease congestion in Orange County could carry a hefty price tag. The plan tackles the "orange crush" -- the interchange where the 22, 5 and 57 freeways all meet. Eastbound commuters have an especially difficult time during rush hour.

Caltrans presented four proposals to the Orange County Transportation Authority Monday. The plan favored by Caltrans would reportedly slash the drive time from 19 minutes to five, but those renovations could run between $70 and $110 million.

Officials say right now the money to complete such a project just isn't there and it's unclear when or if funding would become available.

Another less ambitious project would cost about $20 million, but according to Joel Zlotnick of the OCTA "will not do much to reduce the delay time."

The orange crush proposals will be included in the Central County Corridor Major Investment Study that addresses several issues in central Orange County. The study is expected to be completed early next year.

CNS contributed to this report.

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