TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Drivers traveling on State Route 55 Freeway between the 405 and 5 freeways are seeing the initial stages of a new improvement project take shape despite Southern California's recent storms.
The 55 freeway connects the coast to inland parts of the county.
"This is a very vital stretch of freeway for Orange County," said Eric Carpenter, spokesman for Orange County Transportation Authority.
The four-mile, $475 million project broke ground last summer and is being led by the OCTA in partnership with Caltrans.
Carpenter said they're adding an extra lane and one carpool lane in each direction.
He said OCTA hopes the widening will help improve how traffic flows through the area.
"Basically, we're looking at a freeway that carries about 260,000 vehicles per day and in the next approximately 15 years or so we expect that to increase to about 275,000 vehicles a day," Carpenter said.
He said they're also working on making improvements to four bridges that cross the freeway on the stretch of the 55.
Construction is taking place overnight in an effort to not disrupt traffic too much.
He said the rainy weather has slightly impacted the project but they're doing what they can to keep it on track.
"Where the rain has delayed us in some areas we've tried to do additional work elsewhere so you'll see a lot of the retaining walls that are part of this project being worked on right now," he said.
In addition, OCTA has had to work on the weekends because of the rain but their schedule has not been affected very much.
Carpenter asks drivers to be patient through the project's completion. It's expected to be completed in 2026.