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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 9, 2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Ted Nguyen (714) 560-5334/Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697

OCTA Board Selects One Lane in Each Direction for I-405

To speed up delivery of freeway improvements, high-occupancy toll lanes no longer under consideration as part of the Measure M project

ORANGE – The Orange County Transportation Authority board voted today to construct one general-purpose lane in each direction between Costa Mesa and the county line in Seal Beach as part of the I-405 Improvement Project.

The board’s vote means that high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes will not be a part of the I-405 project, which is being funded through Measure M, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

The vote will allow the benefits of the project to be delivered more quickly to drivers. Caltrans has the final decision on the project alternative and that could come as early as the end of the month.

The board also voted for the agency to work with federal, state and local stakeholders and the community to have a broader and more comprehensive discussion regarding HOT lanes and what role they may play in improving commutes for Orange County drivers. The concept of managed lanes will be explored as part of OCTA’s Long Range Transportation Plan.

“Measure M is a promise to the voters of Orange County and a top priority for this agency,” said OCTA Chairman Greg Winterbottom. “It’s time to move forward and begin improving traffic on I-405 for the hundreds of thousands of people who utilize it on a daily basis.”

The I-405 project is currently in the environmental phase and three build alternatives are part of the study to reduce congestion in the area between Costa Mesa and I-605 at the Los Angeles County line.

Today’s vote reaffirms the board’s October 2012 selection and would add one general-purpose lane in each direction at a cost of $1.3 billion. The other alternatives being studied include:

· A no-build alternative

· Adding two general-purpose lanes each direction at a cost of $1.4 billion

· Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction, and adding a high-occupancy toll lane that would combine with the existing carpool lane to create a two-lane express lanes facility at a cost of $1.7 billion.

The final environmental studies are expected to be completed in summer 2014 with construction anticipated to occur from 2015 to 2020.

The I-405 is the busiest stretch of freeway in the country, carrying more than 370,000 cars a day near the county line. Traffic is expected to increase approximately 35 percent by 2040.

For more information, visit www.octa.net/405improvement.

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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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