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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 4, 2014

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713, Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697

All Carpool Links Set to Open as West County Connectors project wrapping up

Four years of construction work on SR-22, I-405 and I-605 near the Orange and Los Angeles county line is nearing an end for drivers who will now experience an easier commute

ORANGE – The four-year West County Connectors construction project, aimed at easing congestion and enhancing safety along the most heavily traveled stretch of freeway in the nation, is nearing completion as the new bridges linking the carpool lanes on I-405 with SR-22 and I-605 are set to open next week.

Drivers will now be able to travel in the carpool lanes from the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) to the San Diego Freeway (I-405) to the San Gabriel Freeway (I-605), and the reverse, without ever having to exit the carpool lanes.

The current schedule (weather permitting) for opening the connectors:

• Tuesday morning, Dec. 9, the southbound I-605 to southbound I-405 carpool connector

• Wednesday, Dec. 10, the northbound I-405 to northbound I-605 carpool connector

• Thursday, Dec. 11, the westbound SR-22 to northbound I-405 carpool connector

• The southbound I-405 to eastbound SR-22 carpool connector opened in November

The $297 million project by the Orange County Transportation Authority, in cooperation with Caltrans, allows for seamless transitions between the three freeways eliminating the merging and weaving of cars that previously occurred, a major cause of congestion. In addition, the project adds a second carpool on I-405 in both directions between SR-22 and I-605. The I-405 near the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties carries approximately 370,000 cars a day.

“The opening of the West County Connectors means the long road of construction in the area is winding down and we want to thank all of the commuters and the surrounding communities who have patiently endured the work throughout the past four years,” said OCTA Chairman Shawn Nelson, also the chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “We know it hasn’t always been easy but it has been a necessary step to cut down congestion and enhance safety on these three freeways.”

The 6-mile project runs through Garden Grove, Westminster, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and Rossmoor. Construction began in fall 2010 and while the connectors are opening, work will continue with freeway closures occurring intermittently through February.

The project also has included:

•           Reconstruction of 7th Street bridge completed in April 2012

•           Reconstruction of Valley View Street bridge completed in June 2012

•           Reconstruction of Seal Beach Boulevard Bridge completed in July 2014

For an updated list of closures and detours, please visit www.octa.net/wccdetourmap.

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By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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