57 freeway widening to begin in September

BREA, Calif. "It's a mess all the time," said Fullerton resident Noelle Reminiskey. "It's always busy."

"It can take you two hours to go three miles," said Chris Bagger of Fullerton.

Transportation officials said a construction project about to begin in September should provide some relief.

One extra northbound lane will be added to the /*57 freeway*/ for five miles from just north of the 91 freeway near Orangethorpe Avenue in Placentia to Lambert Road in Brea.

"The 91 (freeway) transition is always bad," Reminiskey said. "I don't know if it's going to help with that. Maybe it will. I hope so."

"One extra lane, you figure a lane of traffic can handle between 1,500 and 2,000 vehicles an hour," said Will Kempton, chief executive officer of the /*Orange County Transportation Authority*/. "We're talking about providing a substantial amount of additional capacity."

Next summer, phase two will get underway, which will add an extra northbound lane for three miles on the 57 between Katella and Lincoln avenues in Anaheim.

Officials said the total cost of the project will be $140 million paid by /*Measure M*/ and money from the state.

Both projects involving the 57 freeway are expected to be finished in about four years.

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