The US Department of Transportation’s (US DOT) Build America Bureau has awarded US$628.93m in funding to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for its I-405 improvement project.
The project, which is being built on a 16-mile corridor in northwest Orange County on I-405 between State Route 73 and Interstate 605, will see the addition of one new general-purpose lane and one new toll lane in each direction.
The new tolled express lanes will combine with the existing high occupancy vehicle lane to create two express lanes in each direction. The project also includes improvements to freeway entrances, exits and bridges. OCTA expects to open the project to the public by October 2023.
The funding has been provided as a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) direct loan. The loan proceeds will finance part of the construction costs.
US DOT provides TIFIA and other surface transportation infrastructure financing through the Build America Bureau. The bureau is the US DOT go-to organization to help project sponsors develop, finance and deliver transportation infrastructure projects.
Overall, the I-405 project aims to improve operations on one of the most congested freeways in the country and is expected to generate about 26,000 jobs. It will also create more reliable and timely access to job centers, schools and to essential services for residents of this region.
Its design also incorporates climate resilience elements, especially against flooding and earthquake risks, as well as pedestrian and bike-friendly elements.
The TIFIA loan will replace the current loan that the Bureau provided to OCTA for the project in July 2017. The new loan, at a lower interest rate, will generate approximately US$258m in nominal financing costs savings for OCTA over the life of the loan.
To find out more about the I-405 improvement project, click here.