Congestion where the Garden Grove and San Diego Freeways meet may one day become a nuisance of the past if the 405 Improvement Project, proposed by the Orange County Transportation Authority Tuesday night to the Garden Grove City Council, is ever green-lighted.
Miles Barrett, the project manager for the Interstate 405 project, discussed where along the freeway Garden Grove would be affected by the construction and what stage the project is currently in during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“Objectives are to meet the existing and future need of the 405 and improve the freeway’s operations and enhance safety,” Barrett said.
A main concern of the project is ensuring no change occurs to the Valley View Bridge that currently runs over the Garden Grove and San Diego Freeways.
Initial plans include adding one to two lanes in both directions to as many as four more lanes to the heavily commuted freeway. A third option included a plan to build express lanes similar to those on the Riverside Freeway.
“You compared this project with that of the 91. How did that work out?” Council member Bruce Broadwater asked Barrett.
Barrett explained that the Riverside Freeway expansion was a project built privately and then later purchased by OCTA. The difference is the current 405 improvement proposal is an OCTA project.
The estimated cost of the project ranges from $1.3 billion to $1.7 billion and is projected to take four to five years to complete.
The project is still in its developmental stage while OCTA compiles its Environmental Impact Report; a study in which factors such as cultural resources, community impacts, and traffic, to name a few, are analyzed.
The environmental study could be completed and approved by CalTrans in early 2012. A draft of the plan would then be released to the public for the required 45-day review by spring, 2012.
Residents that would be affected by the construction are encouraged to speak at any of three area-specific public hearings that will be held. Garden Grove and Westminster Residents are encouraged to attend meetings that affect the middle of the 405 project.
If approved by CalTrans, OCTA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the project would move into the final environmental studies phase and would not be concluded until early 2013.
City council member Dina Nguyen raised concern over the price of the project. Barrett said the $1.7 billion price-tag also included additional funding for the project and allows for more components of the project to be built.