I-5 Managed Lanes Project (Red Hill Ave. to OC/LA County Line)

**To review the Draft Environmental Document, scroll down to the section titled 'Resources for Review of the Draft Environmental Document (2023)' **

 The I-5 Managed Lanes Project includes a 15-mile section between Red Hill Avenue, south of SR-55, and the Orange/Los Angeles County Line that will address operational deficiencies related to HOV degradation through studies of alternatives that include priced managed lanes (also known as Express Lanes) strategies. The purpose of this project is to improve the overall movement of people and goods along this section of I-5 through the cities of Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, Anaheim, Fullerton, Buena Park, La Mirada and Santa Fe Springs. Currently, the project corridor has three major freeway-to-freeway interchanges at SR-55, SR-22/SR-57, and SR-91 and at least one HOV lane in each direction.


 Project location map displaying from a plan view the limits of the projecct

Caltrans is the Lead Agency under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Caltrans is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) pursuant to CEQA and an Environmental Assessment (EA) pursuant to NEPA. Caltrans anticipates circulating the draft environmental document for public review and comment Summer 2023.

Proposed Alternatives*

Schematic showing the layout of three build alternatives and one no build alternative


The proposed alternatives under consideration include one No Build Alternative and three Build Alternatives. For details regarding the proposed alternatives, please see the Notice of Availability and/or the PowerPoint presentation below under 'What is Available/Resources'.

*Project scoping was conducted from May 9 to June 8, 2022. Caltrans hosted two public scoping meetings – one in-person meeting and one virtual meeting in May 2022. The purpose of these scoping meetings was to provide information to agencies and the public regarding the proposed project and to obtain feedback on the scope and content that should be addressed. After the project scoping period and reviewing the proposed project alternatives along with screening criteria, the Project Team held meetings on June 20 and June 21, 2022, and determined to remove Alternative 4B from further consideration of the project. With removal of Alternative 4B, Alternative 4A has been retitled "Alternative 4". 

The following screening criteria was used as reasons for removing Alternative 4B from further evaluation in subsequent project development phases:

Right of Way Acquisitions ● Project Right of Way Cost ● Public Input during Scoping ● Community Impacts ● Visual ● Air Quality ● Noise ● Reduced Access to businesses/parks, etc. ● Impacts to bike/pedestrian facilities (permanent & temporary) ● Impacts to Railroads ● Hazardous Materials ● Major utilities relocation

Equity Workshops

Caltrans District 12 hosted two equity workshops during the preparation of an Equity Study. The first was held in a simultaneous in-person and virtual format on Oct. 4, 2022, and the second was hosted via Zoom on March 1, 2023. A video recording of the March 1, 2023, equity workshop for the I-5 Managed Lanes Project can be found on the external project website.

Orange County residents are the first customers this project should serve. Historically, transportation projects have provided fewer benefits to communities of color and underserved communities. The equity workshops, titled “Improving Your Commute on the I-5 in orange County,” were specifically designed to welcome voices from the communities who have experienced disproportionate outcomes from transportation projects and to share how proposed changes to the I-5 could impact and benefit day-to-day life so Caltrans can make recommendations to improve the project.

Public Hearings

Caltrans has studied the effects this proposed Project may have on the environment. Our studies show it will have significant impacts related to induced demand/vehicle miles traveled. The report that explains these findings is called an Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) and it was available  during the public review and comment period from June 5, 2023 to July 20, 2023.

Two public hearings (open forum) was held to give the public an opportunity to ask questions, receive information, share comments, and talk about certain design features of the proposed Project with Caltrans staff before a preferred alternative is selected.

An In-Person Public Hearing (Open Forum) was held on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Caltrans District 12 Office (1750 E. 4th Street, Suite 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705)

Virtual Public Hearing (Open Forum) was held on Thursday, June 29, 2023 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM virtually using Zoom.


Comments from the public were accepted through the following mediums: 

  1. Online comment form, by visiting our external project website CLICK HERE
  2. By mail to: Jayna Harris, Associate/Senior Environmental Planner, 3210 El Camino Real, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92602
  3. By email using the “I-5 Managed Lanes Project” as the subject line of the email and submitting your email to I-5ManagedLanesProject@dot.ca.gov.
  4. During the in-person and virtual public hearings


Next Steps/Milestones

I-5 ML Schedule Figure

  • Summer 2023 – Draft Project Report and Draft Environmental Document + Public Hearings (Open Forum)
  • Fall 2023 – Selection of Preferred Alternative
  • Fall 2024 – Final Project Report and Environmental Document
  • Winter 2024 – Begin Design (PS&E*)
  • 2026 - Begin Construction

* Plans, Specifications, and Estimates

Project Cost

The preliminary alternatives include one No Build Alternative and three Build Alternatives, ranging from $10 million to $413 million for the proposed build alternatives. 

Resources for Review of the Draft Environmental Document (2023)

Draft Environmental Document