LOS ANGELES — The Orange County Transportation Authority, Calif. issued a request for qualifications Oct. 27 seeking firms interested in working on the $900 million expansion of a stretch of Interstate 405.

Opposition to the addition of toll lanes has slowed the project.

The California Department of Transportation insisted OCTA include toll lanes in its expansion plans.

Only the portion of the project that involves adding a free lane in each direction on the stretch of I-405 between Costa Mesa and the Los Angeles County border is included in the RFQ. OCTA is in charge of that portion of the project and will fund it using its Measure M half-cent sales tax money.

Caltrans will pay for and construct the project’s more controversial second phase involving adding a high-occupancy toll lane to combine with an existing carpool lane and creating a two-lane Express Lanes facility on the same segment of the freeway.

That segment of the freeway carries more than 370,000 cars a day and that number is expected to increase 35% by 2040, according to OCTA officials.

The final environmental document is expected to be finished early next year for OCTA’s project. Work on the freeway expansion would begin in 2016 and be finished by 2020.

Caltrans proposed second phase is unfunded and the timing of implementation is unknown, according to a staff report.

Firms will have until Dec. 18 to submit their statement of qualifications in response to the RFQ. OCTA will select a shortlist of firms to create design-build proposals on March 9, 2015.

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