interchange from the air (copy)

A bird's eye view of the new carpool connectors between the 605 and 405 freeways. With that project done, Caltrans is looking at a 405 expansion in Orange County.

An interactive app has been launched by the Orange County Transportation Authority to help people know where construction is occurring on the 405 Freeway south of the Long Beach border.

OCTA and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is planning a major expansion of the 405 in both directions from the connector to the 605 Freeway to the SR-73 toll road near Costa Mesa. Two lanes of traffic will be added in each direction, and an Express Lane will be created to collect tolls.

Work is scheduled to start early next year on the  northern part of the project, at the Long Beach border. OCTA and Long Beach officials reportedly still are negotiating about how the extra traffic in Long Beach would be mitigated.

There is no plan to expand either the 405 or the 605 in Los Angeles County.

The interactive map, which is applicable to mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) according to OCTA, gives estimated start dates for construction. Once work begins, users can explore the project area in real time, seeing both planned improvements and current construction activities for each bridge, as well as updated closure and detour information.

To see the map, go to www.octa.net/405map. For more information about the project, go to www.octa.net or email 405project@octa.net.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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