The Orange County Transportation Authority's efforts to relieve heavy traffic and severe bottlenecking along the I-405, between the 73 toll road and the I-605, have been met with delay after delay for years.
The I-405 Improvement project was created to help widen one of the most notoriously congested freeways in the state. The project proposed three alternatives and, as early as 2012, the OCTA board of directors selected the first alternative: the construction of at least one general purpose lane on each side of the freeway using funds from a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters under Measure M.
However, in July 2014, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recommended building under the third alternative, in which the project would be completed in two phases. The first phase would include the addition of one general purpose lane in each direction. Under phase two, Caltrans would pursue funding for the construction of a dual tolled expressway and toll facility that would incorporate an existing high occupancy lane.
In December 2014, OCTA put the project on hold in order to settle how the project would proceed. In order to carry out phase two, OCTA would have to use its power of eminent domain to acquire additional properties affected by the construction of Caltrans' proposed tolled expressway - a prospect that OCTA Board Director James Righeimer expressly opposed.
OCTA and Caltrans have re-engaged in discussions regarding how to reach a cooperative agreement, but it remains to be seen which way the discussions will lead.
Peterson Law Group, PC is dedicated to protecting your property rights regarding any major public project. If you have questions concerning eminent domain or real estate issues, please call us at (213) 236-9720 or contact us online.