Future 405 Freeway lanes in OC set to open by the end of the year

David González Image
Thursday, July 13, 2023
Future 405 Freeway lanes in OC set to open by the end of the year
A $2.1 billion project to improve the 405 freeway in Orange County is almost finished.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- A $2.1 billion project to improve the 405 Freeway in Orange County is almost finished, and it's set to be completed by the end of this year.

"The freeway lanes are congested. The carpool lanes have been congested and what this project will do is create a better freeway for anybody that drives through the area," said Joel Zlotnik, a spokesperson for the Orange County Transportation Authority.

The project adds one general lane in each direction between Costa Mesa and the Orange County and Los Angeles County line.

Zlotnik said it also creates a second lane that combines with the existing carpool lane to create the 405 Express Lanes.

"The average toll is $3 for going northbound, southbound, anytime of the day or night," Zlotnik said. "There's also different segments so you can get in and out of the express lanes of the carpool lanes at various points."

However, some drivers like Carson Fonseca don't think the project is going to fix the traffic problems.

"It hasn't worked yet has it? We have HOV and we have Fast Passes all over the place - that's not helped," Fonseca said.

On Wednesday, OCTA's Finance and Administration Committee recommended approving a toll policy for the new created 405 Express Lanes.

Zlotnik said it includes making the express lanes free to carpoolers with three or more people.

He said drivers ride the 16 mile stretch of the express lanes would be charged the maximum toll amount.

"Right now the maximum toll would be during peak rush hour on Friday afternoon, going northbound if you go the full length of the express lanes. It's $9.95," Zlotnik said.

Fonseca said Californians are paying enough.

The OCTA board of directors will review the toll policy and vote to approve it during their next meeting on July 24.