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Caltrans Forcing the OC to Get Toll Lanes on the 405

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The California Department of Transportation has overridden Orange County's decision to reject toll lanes on the 405 from the 73 to the LA County line, LA Times reports; the project will be similar to the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 in LA County, where solo drivers can pay to drive in the carpool lane. The 405 may be the third-rail in toll-happy OC—some people argue the "Lexus lanes" will hurt average commuters and deter those in the toll lanes from getting off and patronizing businesses (they also don't know what to do with the money). Caltrans still has to complete an environmental report on the project, but either way, this 14-mile stretch is getting a lane in each direction, plus space to build another later on, at a cost of $1.7 billion, according to the OC Register.

Caltrans has final say on freeways on the state, so most likely it will get its wish in transforming the new lane and the current carpool lane into toll operations; the agency doesn't yet know if carpoolers will be exempt from paying. Meanwhile, Metro is probably chomping at the bit to add toll lanes to LA County's section of the 405 and get the money rolling in.
· Caltrans will put toll lanes on 405 Freeway despite objections [LAT]
· Caltrans wants toll lanes on I-405… someday [OC Register]