HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) – Drivers could experience significant delays in Huntington Beach due to a year-long shutdown of a bridge which runs over the 405 Freeway.
The McFadden Avenue Bridge was closed overnight Tuesday and is expected to remain shut down for the next 12 months as part of a larger 405 Freeway improvement project in Orange County.
The bridge will be demolished beginning as early as Aug. 18 and then reconstructed, according to the Orange County Transportation Authority. During the reconstruction process, the bridge will be closed to drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
All Wednesday morning, drivers could be seen making U-turns as they realized the bridge was closed.
“A lot of people go down McFadden ever since they built Bella Terra,” Carlene Leatherman told CBS2. “They want to avoid all the congested, dense housing they put in there.”
Several detours are in place, including:
— McFadden Ave. to NB Goldenwest St. to EB Bolsa Ave. to SB Beach Blvd.
— McFadden Ave. to SB Goldenwest St. to EB Edinger Ave. to NB Beach Blvd.
— McFadden Ave. to NB Beach Blvd. to WB Bolsa Ave. to SB Goldenwest St.
— McFadden Ave. to SB Beach Blvd. to WB Edinger Ave. to NB Goldenwest St.
The bridge will be widened from two to four lanes. It is one of 18 county bridges over the 405 Freeway which are being rebuilt over the next several years.
It is all part of the extensive $1.9 billion five-year project to widen the 405 Freeway. Construction begins this month and the project is expected be complete in 2023.
The Interstate 405 Improvement Project will add one regular lane in both directions to a 16-mile stretch of the freeway from State Route 73 in Costa Mesa north to the Los Angeles-Orange County border at the 605 Freeway. It will also add express lanes in each direction that will be combined with the existing carpool lanes to form express toll lanes, according to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).
It is being mostly-funded by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters back in 2006 to fund 30 years of transportation projects. In July 2017, the OCTA finalized a $629 million loan from the federal government towards the project. Revenue from drivers who pay for the toll lanes will finance the loan, the OCTA said.
The 405 is the most heavily traveled freeway in the nation at the county line, getting between 257,000 and 370,000 vehicles per day. Experts predict a 35 percent increase in traffic by 2040.