For 370,000 daily Southern California motorists using one of the busiest freeway segments in the nation, the drive time will become shorter due to the efforts of a Santa Ana company.

Iteris, the global leader in applied informatics for transportation and agriculture, has been awarded a $5.5 million contract for infrastructure design on the I-405 Improvement Project. Work begins in March and is expected to run through 2018.

The I-405 Improvement Project, funded by Measure M, has a total budget of more than $1 billion and is the largest-scale project undertaken by Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), in cooperation with Caltrans. Iteris is responsible for the freeway intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and Express Lane infrastructure design, temporary ITS infrastructure for use during construction, development of the project traffic management plan, and signal design at 42 intersections throughout the corridor.

ITS and Express Lanes elements to be designed include changeable message signs, CCTV cameras, vehicle detection, ramp metering, and communications networks for both ITS and the Express Lanes. The widening project will add a total of four lanes: two general purpose lanes and two tolled express lanes.

An OCTA study concluded that by 2040, travel through the regular lanes of I-405 from SR-73 to I-605 (a 16-mile stretch) will take only 29 minutes during rush hour. The commute can be reduced to 13 minutes if a driver chooses to take the new Express Lanes.

Without the widening project, it would take two hours and 13 minutes to travel the same stretch in regular lanes and two hours in the current carpool lanes.