Highway 55: Civil works to add additional lanes, reduce traffic congestion

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC)– Construction to widen State Route 55 in central Orange County is set to begin on July 28th.

The SR-55 Improvement Project is a partnership between the OC Transportation Authority and Caltrans.

Four miles of the SR 55, also known as the 55 Freeway, between I-5 and I-405 will retain one regular lane and one carpool lane in each direction.

The aim is to relieve traffic.

Supervisor Katrina Foley said she knows all too well the frustration of being stuck at 55.

“I’ve sat there myself in the parking lot of the 55 many times, and now the goal is to get people moving, and I think it’s going to help because it’s combined with other projects,” Foley said.

These projects include the construction of bridges, noise barriers, ramps and roads.

Local, state and federal funding will cover the $475 million award.

Cities along the build path include Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Irvine.

Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said he sees it improving the quality of life for its residents.

“It’s not just a traffic problem, it’s also a question of environmental justice. When cars stall, stall and reverse — all of those emissions tend to stay here in the city,” Sarmiento said.

Although OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson expects all lanes to remain open during daytime construction, Johnson warns drivers to plan ahead.

Until work is completed here, there will likely be changes and delays to the usual route.

“We have some work that needs to be done above the freeway, like utility lines, and underneath the freeway, like drainage and water and other things, so we need to close some lanes overnight and maybe put some on-and-off ramps so we can get this job done,” Johnson said.

An OCTA spokesman said drivers could expect construction to begin in the coming weeks.

The project is expected to be completed in 2026.

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https://abc7.com/route-55-freeway-project-orange-county-traffic-congestion/12080710/ Highway 55: Civil works to add additional lanes, reduce traffic congestion

Laura Coffey

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