Last week the Orange County Transportation Authority executed the design/build contract for the I-405 Improvement Project with OC405 Partners, a joint venture consisting of OHL USA and Astaldi Construction Corporation. With a contract price of $1,217,065,000 and a total estimated project cost of $1.9 billion, the project, which consists of 16 miles of reconstruction of one of the most congested corridors in the United States including 14 miles of tolled express lanes, is the largest highway project in California currently under development.
OCTA is a multi-modal county transportation agency that, among other duties, administers a multi-billion dollar local transportation sales tax program. The project will be financed in part with approximately $1.25 billion of local sales tax funds. OCTA will be applying for a $627 million TIFIA loan to be secured with toll revenue received from users of the express lanes. Caltrans is contributing another $89 million of funding for the project. OCTA has operated one of the most successful managed lanes project in the country, the SR91 Express Lanes. The I-405 Improvement Project is the first use of AB194, a state statute the authorizes Caltrans as well as regional transportation agencies to levy tolls to pay for state highway projects with approval from the California Transportation Commission. The project is being developed and operated in a partnership with Caltrans, which has entered into a design/build cooperative agreement under which it will exercise project oversight services and a toll period operating agreement giving OCTA the right to operate the express lanes for 40 years beginning on the day the express lanes open to traffic.
Next steps for the project include separate procurements for a toll systems integrator and back offices services provider for the managed lanes portion of the project.