California's Interstate 405 expansion to close bridge for a year
- The Orange County Transportation Authority announced that it will begin demolition and rebuilding of the McFadden Bridge, the first of an 18-bridge program to accommodate the $2 billion widening of a 16-mile portion of Interstate 405 through Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reported. The bridge will be closed for a year for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
- The bridge work that is part of the Interstate 405 project includes new construction and replacement to accommodate extra lanes. OC 405 Partners, the design-build team of OHL USA and Astaldi Construction, will add one regular lane in each direction along a portion of the targeted area and also provide improved entrances and exits. The project will also see the construction of four express lanes, two in each direction. Those carpooling will be able to use the lanes for free and those driving alone will pay a toll for access.
- The Measure M half-cent transportation tax will pay $1.1 billion toward the new regular lanes, and the express lanes will be funded through a $629 million toll-backed loan. The state is contributing $89.7 million, and the federal government is paying $45.6 million. Construction on the project — re-striping and setting up concrete barriers to protect work areas — started earlier this year and is expected to be complete in 2023.
Pacific Infrastructure 405 Designers, a joint venture between Moffatt & Nichol, H.W. Lochner Inc. and Arup North America Ltd., is responsible for the design portion of the project. Major subcontractors include Sacramento-based Myers and Sons Construction and All American Asphalt. Myers' past projects include the Eisenhower Tunnel for the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.
Orange County transportation officials awarded the $1.2 billion design-build contract to OC 405 Partners in November 2016, marking the first time that California transportation agencies were allowed to use that delivery method for a road project under a new state law.
Design-build is widely considered by those in the industry and by the Federal Highway Administration as a way to speed up highway projects, lower costs and improve the quality of the finished product. Because the design team and contractors work together before the construction phase to resolve any design conflicts or other problems, the number of time-wasting, expensive changes can be greatly reduced or even eliminated. Design-build also offers a fast-track option by allowing construction to begin while the design phase is still underway.
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