A four-mile freeway expansion project is set to begin on the Costa Mesa Freeway, between the I-405 and I-5 freeways. The $475 million project, which voters approved through Measure M, will add one carpool lane and one regular lane in each direction of Interstate 55, also known as SR-55.

Currently, SR-55 offers four lanes with one carpool lane going each direction. However, with approximately 260,000 drivers utilizing the north and south directions of SR-55, the area is known to be a magnet for heavy congestion.

In anticipation of the project’s groundbreaking, the city of Irvine used social media to generate some awareness around the project. The post also included some optional methods for staying updated on the project. The project itself also has an official Twitter page.

In terms of where construction will actually begin, an OCTA spokesperson explained that in the coming weeks, drivers will be alerted of upcoming construction via “staging” which will begin appearing next month.

“Construction staging will take place first and actual construction that drivers will see will begin as early as mid-August. The contractor will determine where in the segment the work will be done first and stakeholders will be informed as the schedule is refined,” OCTA wrote in an email to Irvine Weekly. “During construction, all freeway lanes are expected to remain open during the day, though some lanes may need to be closed during overnight hours.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2026.

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