The I-405 Improvement Project – a $1.9 billion project to improve an essential part of SoCal’s infrastructure – has reached another major milestone with the completion and opening of two new bridges. The Bushard Street and McFadden Avenue bridges are among 18 bridges to be built, widened or replaced as part of the ambitious project, which will speed up travel times between Orange County’s Costa Mesa and the Los Angeles County line.
This 16-mile segment of the San Diego Freeway (I-405) is one of the most heavily traveled stretches of highway in the nation, and drivers routinely face severe congestion in both the regular lanes and carpool lanes. The project is critical to accommodate expected employment, population and housing growth throughout the region.
The I-405 Improvement Project includes adding one regular lane in each direction between Euclid Street and I-605 and making improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. In addition, the project will add a second lane in each direction in the center of the freeway from SR-73 to I-605 that will combine with the existing carpool lanes to form the 405 Express Lanes.
The general purpose lane portion of the project is an OC Go – formally Measure M (Orange County’s voter-approved half-cent transportation sales tax) – project and will be funded by a combination of local, state and federal funds, with the express lanes portion of the project financed and paid for by those who choose to pay a toll and use the 405 Express Lanes.
In 2040, it’s expected to take 29 minutes to travel during rush hour from SR-73 to I-605 in the general purpose lanes after improvements to the I-405 are complete. That commute can be reduced to 13 minutes if a driver chooses to take the 405 Express Lanes.
Moving on to the next phase of the improvement project, crews are now scheduled to begin demolition work on the Brookhurst Street and Edinger Avenue bridges.
Because the I-405 Improvement Project is included in one the 16 federal critical infrastructure sectors (i.e., transportation), construction work is continuing as usual during the pandemic, with project safety officials following all federal and local health guidelines.