The I-405 is considered one of the busiest sections of freeway in California seeing, on average, over 430,000 vehicles per day. For many years, the near constant congestion of vehicles has been a major pain point for the communities along its route, subjecting residents to increased traffic and decreased quality of life.
The West County Connectors project was a joint effort between the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Caltrans to reduce congestion and improve the overall driving experience for residents in the area. The project linked HOV lanes along I-405 with SR-22, providing a crucial connection for commuters in the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, Seal Beach, and Los Alamitos.
Harris provided construction management services for the project and partnered with OCTA and Caltrans to ensure its successful completion on time and within budget.
This $75 million project featured many transportation improvements, including:
- Multi-stage construction for two bridge replacements
- New 1,100-foot multi-span HOV connector
- New and widened lanes on I-405
- Reconstruction of on- and off-ramps
- New traffic signals and lighting
- Installation of new overhead sign structures
- Use of light-weight cellular concrete fill
- MSE walls and miles of barrier rails
One of the major challenges during the construction process was to build the falsework that would hold up the I-405 HOV bridge's unique, curved design. The Harris team confirmed the complex falsework that spanned over 130 feet, making sure to account for the road's incline and curve. With our expertise and attention to detail, we were able to perform extensive review and provide a very complex camber for three bridges (I-405 HOV, 405 to 22 Connector, and Valley View St Bridge), helping to complete the bridges per plan and to the correct grades.
In addition to the improved infrastructure, the project also enhanced the aesthetic elements along the route with new and upgraded traffic signals, lighting, and overhead sign structures. The use of light-weight cellular concrete fill, MSE walls, and barrier rails added to the overall safety of the roadways.
Beyond the Blueprints
The West County Connectors Project not only provided a safer and more efficient transportation option for commuters, but also reduced congestion on this highly traveled section of freeway. The team was able to deliver lasting benefits to the residents of Orange County and the project won a California Transportation Forum Project of the Year award.