COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- Some relief is on the way for Orange County commuters who use the 405 Freeway.
A $1.2 billion project has been awarded to add a regular lane of traffic in each direction on the stretch of the 405 from the Los Angeles County line to the 73 freeway in Costa Mesa.
The Orange County Transportation Authority calls the project a major step forward to speed up commute times for the 370,000 drivers who use that section of the freeway every day.
The project will also add express lanes in the center of the freeway, usable for free by cars with three or more occupants. Cars with two or more occupants can travel for free in the first 3-and-a-half years, and then would have to pay full price.
For those willing to pay, driving the full 16 miles during peak hours would cost about $10.
Authorities estimate that without the project, by 2040 drivers would spend at least two hours traveling in the carpool lanes on this stretch of the 405, compared with a 13-minute commute in the express lane after the expansion.