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405 Express Lanes will open Dec. 1, changing southbound travel from LW

405 Express Lanes will open Dec. 1, changing southbound travel from LW 405 Express Lanes will open Dec. 1, changing southbound travel from LW


The 405 Express Lanes are on track to open Friday, Dec. 1, transforming the way that Leisure Worlders travel southbound on the 405 Freeway. The new express lanes will replace existing carpool lanes.

The lanes were added thanks to the Orange County Transportation Authority’s I-405 Improvement Project. OCTA broke ground on the project in 2018 to improve travel times and accommodate an expected growth in employment, population and housing throughout the region.

Crews began testing the 405 Express Lanes in late October, necessitating the closure of existing carpool lanes along the I-405. The lanes will be closed for approximately one month. Drivers should expect delays during the closures and are encouraged to take alternate routes if possible. People should not enter the 405 Express Lanes for the safety of the traveling public and OCTA crews.

Overall, the project is adding one regular lane in each direction of I-405 between Euclid Street in Fountain Valley and I-605 in Seal Beach as promised to voters through Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation.

In addition, the project is constructing the 405 Express Lanes between SR-73 in Costa Mesa and I-605 at the Orange County border with Los Angeles County.

Those who want to use the 405 Express Lanes will need to acquire a FasTrak responder with a valid account. The responders are available for free from any toll agency in California. Transponders will be available directly through the 405 Express Lanes website starting next week at OCTA currently offers transponders at

The lanes can be used by single drivers or carpools.

Tolls will vary by hour, day of the week, direction of travel, distance traveled, and will be adjusted regularly. On average, drivers will pay about $3 to travel the entire 14 miles on the 405 Express Lanes.

The express lanes were not funded with local dollars but instead paid for through a federal Transportation Infrastructure and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan that will be repaid solely by drivers who choose to pay a toll.

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