405 Freeway Approved for New Lanes in Each Direction--But Not Toll Lanes

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The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board voted today to add a new lane in each direction of the 405 freeway from the 605 freeway to Euclid Street in Fountain Valley--but they would be free and not toll lanes. Lexus lanes had previously been proposed (to a chorus of boos) from the Los Angeles County line in Seal Beach to the 73 in Costa Mesa, which eventually changes from the Corona del Mar Freeway to the San Joaquin Hills toll road.

But the board meeting in Orange voted 12-4 to go not with toll lanes but with the freeway option, which would be paid for with $1.3 billion from the Measure M half-cent sales tax.

The timeline has an environmental impact report being completed by the end of next summer, construction beginning in 2015 and work done by 2020, OCTA spokesman Ted Nguyen tells City News Service.

The federal government threatened to withhold highway funds if something is not done to relieve congestion along that stretch of the 405, which is the busiest in the country.

Caltrans officials advocated toll lanes, arguing existing car-pool lanes move too slowly. Also opposing free lanes today were OCTA board members Todd Spitzer, Matt Harper, John Moorlach and Gary Miller.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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12 comments
paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

Good to see common sense has prevailed. Bravo.

Chris Roth
Chris Roth

Thankful god I won't be commuting during this caltrans construction I'll be five min from work!

Sean Coolidge
Sean Coolidge

Because a railcar running up the middle of freeway makes no sense at all?

rockyneidhardt
rockyneidhardt

TOLL ROADS are only the answer when the question is What NOT to Do !!

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Good job by the local governments along that stretch of the 405 (such as Westminster) to beat the toll lane idea back.  Finally, the people won something.  Though in my wildest dreams, I would've loved to see a plan approved for train tracks on that real estate.  If this was only 1960 all over again.  

Fred Stoces
Fred Stoces

lanes for lexus?! i will still drive on it even though im not a lexus !

Niko Babic
Niko Babic

What difference will it really make? Just one more lane to be stuck in.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I agree. I would like to see a push for more mass transit, but am glad to see that taxpayers will not have to pay a ridiculous toll for the convenience of new traffic lanes.

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