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Interstate 405 California

 

In Sepulveda Pass, northbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway passes under Mulholland Drive (arched concrete bridge) as it approaches its interchange with U.S. 101/Ventura Freeway. The right three lanes will transition onto U.S. 101 north (west) to Ventura and south (east) to Glendale and Hollywood. This view is taken from the Skirball Center Drive overpass looking north. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).

Routing

Interstate 405, the San Diego Freeway, is a major route linking the northern and southern parts of the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Always busy (at all hours of the day or night!), Interstate 405 is the most direct route between San Diego and Northern California. Additionally, it serves Los Angeles International Airport. There was a time around Thanksgiving 2003 while driving between Long Beach and Santa Clarita that it took over three hours via Interstate 405 on a Wednesday afternoon ... which is less than 45 miles!

History

Interstate 405 replaced the original route of California 7 through the greater Los Angeles area. Portions of California 7 were ugpraded to a freeway in 1957 and later designated Interstate 405 by 1963. West of Interstate 605, Interstate 405 was completed before 1965. The stretch of freeway east of I-605 followed by 1969.1

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Interstate 5 - Irvine, California
Perspective from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south
In the final couple of miles of Interstate 405 south, there are three exits, followed by the merge of Interstate 405 into Interstate 5 south. Here, southbound Interstate 405 reaches Exit 1C, Irvine Center exit (the right two lanes are exit only, despite what the sign says). The last two exits are Bake Parkway and Lake Forest Drive. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway approaches the final three exits, Exit 1B, Bake Parkway; Exit 1A, Lake Forest Drive (Truck Bypass Interstate 5); and Exit 0, Junction Interstate 5 south. The El Toro Road exit (Orange County Route S-18) is actually located on Interstate 5, so the southern end of Interstate 405 is in between Lake Forest Drive and El Toro Road. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
This is the final Interstate 405 south reassurance shield, found shortly after the Irvine Center Drive on-ramp. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 405 reaches Exit 1B, Bake Parkway, and the final standalone exit is Exit 1A, Lake Forest Drive, followed by Junction Interstate 5 south. Curiously, no signs indicate that Interstate 405 is about to merge into Interstate 5. The high ramps surrounding this interchange are for carpools (left) and trucks (right). There is no "END" Interstate 405 shield, in keeping with Caltrans District 12 signing policy. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
An exit number sign for Exit 1A, Lake Forest Drive (to Truck Bypass Interstate 5 south) is posted here. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
The final exit on southbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway comes just before Interstate 405 merges onto Interstate 5. Here, Interstate 405 south reaches Exit 1A, Lake Forest Drive (which is actually a connection to the Interstate 5 Truck Bypass and thus offer a connection to Interstate 5 south). Through traffic merges onto southbound Interstate 5; the mainline is visible just ahead, along with the elevated direct transition lanes for high occupancy vehicles from Interstate 5 northbound to Interstate 405 northbound. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
Southbound Interstate 5 traffic feeds in from the left while southbound Interstate 405 flows from the right. Again note the bridge to the left (east) -- that is the direct connection from the Interstate 405 carpool lane onto the Interstate 5 carpool lane, from left lane to left lane. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
Interstate 405 south merges directly onto southbound Interstate 5. The truck bypass lanes can be seen to the right. During rush hours, this interchange can be congested. At one time, the former El Toro Marine Base was considered for conversion into a civilian airport. Had that facility been constructed, this interchange would have an additional impact for air travelers. Current plans call for development of the former military base into houses and other issues, including a possible park. Photo taken by Andy Field (06/17/06).
Perspective from Interstate 5/Santa Ana Freeway south - Main Lanes
No photos are currently available for this perspective.
Perspective from Interstate 5/Santa Ana Freeway south - Truck Lanes
The truck bypass for southbound Interstate 5 does not offer any connection to Interstate 405 north, but it does provide a connection to Bake Parkway and Lake Forest Drive. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
The first exit on the truck bypass is the connection to Bake Parkway. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
This view of the carpool (HOV) lane direct connection can be seen from the southbound lanes of the truck bypass for Interstate 5 at the Interstate 405 interchange. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
Southbound Interstate 5 reaches Exit 92B, Bake Parkway. The left two lanes will return truck traffic back to Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway south and to Lake Forest Drive. Additional lanes will join the truck bypass from Interstate 405 south shortly. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
After traffic from Interstate 405 merges in from the right, the right two lanes of the truck bypass for southbound Interstate 5 connect to Exit 92A, Lake Forest Drive; the left lane will return to Interstate 5 south. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
The left two lanes of the truck bypass connect to Exit 92A, Lake Forest Drive. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
Southbound Interstate 5 truck bypass reaches Exit 92A, Lake Forest Drive (right two lanes). The left lane will reconnect to Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway south to San Diego. Photo taken by Andy Field and Casey Cooper (07/03/05).
Perspective from Interstate 5 north - Main Lanes
As Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway approaches the Interstate 405 interchange, traffic may use the high occupancy vehicle lanes, main lanes, or truck lanes to navigate the ramps. Interstate 5 will transition onto the Santa Ana Freeway, while Interstate 405 continues along the San Diego Freeway. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
The truck lanes depart from the main lanes here, at the Bake Parkway offramp. Use this ramp to Exit 92B, Bake Parkway as well as one of three ways to connect to Exit 94A, Junction Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north. Slower traffic should use the truck lanes, while faster traffic should remain on the main lanes. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
Interstate 5 is the most direct route into downtown Los Angeles, while Interstate 405 avoids the city center to the west. However, it is no less congested, as it passes through Long Beach and Los Angeles International Airport before rejoining Interstate 5 in the San Fernando Valley. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
Use the left three lanes to remain on northbound Interstate 5; use the two right lanes to connect to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. The high occupancy vehicle lanes offer connections to both freeways. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
Speaking of the high occupancy vehicle lanes, the two lanes will split, with the left HOV lane turning onto northbound Interstate 405, while the right HOV lane continues north on Interstate 5. Photo taken by Alex Nitzman (03/25/05).
Northbound Interstate 5 reaches its junction with northbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. The right three lanes are exit only for the continuation of the San Diego Freeway via Interstate 405 north. The left three lanes (excluding carpool lanes) continue north on Interstate 5 via the Santa Ana Freeway. This interchange is deceptively large, since it also includes a direct carpool (high occupancy vehicle) transition as well as a truck bypass for through traffic on northbound Interstate 5. At a one point during this interchange, the total number of lanes in both directions is over 20! Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
After Interstate 405 splits from Interstate 5, this mileage sign provides the distance to the next three exits on Interstate 5 north. The green steel deck bridge is the original bridge separation that was first built along with the original Interstate 5/405 interchange in 1968. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
Perspective from Interstate 5 north - Truck Lanes
The approach to Interstate 405 from the northbound Interstate 5 truck lanes is slightly different than the treatment of the connecting ramps from the main lanes. Interstate 405 is a left exit from the truck lanes. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
The northbound Interstate 5/San Diego Freeway truck lanes reaches Exit 92B, Bake Parkway. The right lanes are exit only, so the left two lanes continue north on the truck bypass. After passing under Bake Parkway, two new right lanes will join the truck bypass. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
After the Bake Parkway offramp, the Interstate 5 north truck lanes prepares to split with Interstate 405. The left two lanes connect to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north, while the right two lanes connect to Interstate 5/Santa Ana Freeway north. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
The truck lanes split, with Interstate 405 heading northwest (with a connection to Irvine Center Road) via the left two lanes (via Exit 94A, a left exit from the truck lanes). Interstate 5 continues north via the right two lanes. Use the Interstate 5 north lanes to Alton Parkway, which is Exit 94B. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
Perspective from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north - Truck Lanes
After transitioning from the Interstate 5 truck lanes, the northbound Interstate 405 truck lanes have an exit of their own: the connection to Exit 1, Irvine Center Road. After the Exit 1 offramp, Interstate 405's truck lanes will rejoin the main lanes of northbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
Shortly thereafter, the truck lanes split. The right lane connects to Exit 1, Irvine Center Road, while the left two lanes continue ahead to connect to the main lanes of Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Photo taken by AARoads (09/25/05).
Perspective from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north
After the main lanes and truck lanes merge back together, this is the first shield along northbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Photo taken by AARoads (11/25/04).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 5 - San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California
Perspective from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north
Since there is no direct connection from Interstate 405 northbound to Interstate 5 southbound, there is no signage indicating that Interstate 5 is forthcoming. In fact, the final exit along northbound Interstate 405 is here at Rinaldi Street. The final mile or so of Interstate 405 consists of a tunnel under Interstate 5 and a long merge to join Interstate 5 northbound. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
Interstate 405 northbound passes under Interstate 5 via this brief tunnel. At the other end of the tunnel is an END shield; Interstate 405 traffic then merges directly onto Interstate 5 northbound. Photo taken by AARoads (11/14/04).
Northbound Interstate 405 is signed by this END shield assembly as the freeway merges onto northbound Interstate 5 in the San Fernando Valley. The shield assembly was replaced with new shields between 2004 and 2007. This sign is easy photograph since you're only going five miles per hour when you pass it (okay, it's not always that bad, but it sure can be!). Photos taken by Andy Field (08/27/07) and AARoads (11/14/04).
Perspective from Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway north
There are no signs along northbound Interstate 5 for its junction with Interstate 405 since there is no connection from northbound Interstate 5 to southbound Interstate 405. The only movements accommodated are southbound Interstate 5 to southbound Interstate 405 and northbound Interstate 405 to northbound Interstate 5. This mileage sign is located approximately one mile south of the point where northbound Interstate 405 merges with northbound Interstate 5. Photo taken by AARoads (11/25/04).
Since the merger of two major freeways (Interstate 405 and Interstate 5) can generate much congestion, a truck bypass is in place to allow trucks and other slower vehicles to avoid the merge of fast-paced vehicles coming in from Interstate 405. The two right lanes connect to this bypass. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/16/03).
The truck bypass concept is fairly common in Southern California. In addition to this bypass along northbound Interstate 5 at Interstate 405, there are other bypasses at the southern Interstate 5/405 merge, the Interstate 5/California 99 split, and Interstate 5/California 14 split. The truck bypass rejoins Interstate 5 between the Interstate 405 and Interstate 210 interchanges. Photo taken by AARoads (11/25/04).
Perspective from Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway south
Shortly after the Interstate 210/Foothill Freeway interchange on southbound Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway, this porcelain enamel upcoming exits mileage sign provides the distance to the next three exits: Exit 159, Roxford Street; Exit 158B, Truck Bypass for Interstate 5 and Interstate 405; and Exit 158, Junction Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south to Santa Monica. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
Southbound Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway reaches Exit 159, Roxford Street. The next exit is the truck bypass followed by the split with Interstate 405 south. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
A second upcoming exits mileage sign is posted shortly thereafter. In addition to listing the short distance to the truck bypass and junction with Interstate 405, it also lists the distance to San Fernando Mission Road. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
All trucks must use the truck bypass to continue south on Interstate 5 or transition to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. Cars may use the left lanes for either freeway. The left three lanes (plus high occupancy vehicle lane) follows Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway south, while the middle three lanes connect to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway. The right lane shifts onto the truck bypass. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
The truck bypass splits off Interstate 5 at this point. The purpose of the truck bypass is to allow trucks to continue south on Interstate 5 without having to cross multiple lanes of cars connecting to Interstate 405 south. Separation of cars and trucks at major interchanges like this ease congestion and eliminate multiple lane changes. Similar local/bypass configurations exist at the Interstate 5/California 14 interchange in both directions and also at the southern end of Interstate 405 at the junction with Interstate 5 in Orange County. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
Interstate 5 and Interstate 405 split at Exit 158. The left three lanes (plus HOV) continue south on Interstate 5 toward Burbank, Glendale, downtown Los Angeles, Norwalk, and Orange County. Meanwhile, Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway skirts the western edge of Los Angeles, connecting to U.S. 101/Ventura Freeway, Santa Monica, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Long Beach, and Irvine. Both freeways are tremendously busy, and both have ongoing improvement projects to increase capacity at various locations. They are both prone to traffic delays, so visit 1070AM for traffic information before driving either freeway through the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
Perspective from Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south
Southbound Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway splits from Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway with three through lanes. A left hand roadside sign advises that Interstate 405 is the San Diego Freeway, which is a feature commonly found on named freeways in greater Los Angeles. The overpass ahead carries truck traffic back to southbound Interstate 5 via the truck bypass. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
The first exit on Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south is Exit 72, Sepulveda Boulevard and Rinaldi Street. Designated as California 7, Sepulveda Boulevard was the original route that carried through traffic from the San Fernando Valley south to Culver City and Los Angeles International Airport. When the San Diego Freeway was first built, it was designated as California 7 until the route was added to the Interstate highway system as Interstate 405. Most of Sepulveda Boulevard through the San Fernando Valley is designated as "Alternate Interstate 405" or "Detour Interstate 405." Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
A porcelain enamel overhead guide sign is posted on Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south for Exit 72, Sepulveda Boulevard and Rinaldi Street. Rinaldi Street is a major east-west arterial street that serves the Los Angeles community of Mission Hills, which is located at the north end of the San Fernando Valley. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
The first Interstate 405 south reassurance shield is posted shortly after traffic from the truck bypass merges back onto the main route. Shortly ahead is Exit 72 for Rinaldi Street and Sepulveda Boulevard. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
Perspective from Sepulveda Boulevard north
Northbound Sepulveda Boulevard approaches Rinaldi Street in the Mission Hills community of Los Angeles. Both through lanes will cross Rinaldi Street, then merge directly onto Interstate 405 north, which is signed as Interstate 5. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
A city of Los Angeles overhead sign directs northbound Sepulveda Boulevard motorists onto Interstate 405 north, which is signed as Interstate 5 north. Upon entering the freeway here, motorists will merge onto Interstate 405 north, which will then merge onto Interstate 5 north. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).
Shortly thereafter, a pair of Interstate 405 freeway entrance shield assemblies guard the entrance from northbound Sepulveda Boulevard to Interstate 405 north. Photo taken by Andy Field (08/26/07).

Sources:

  1. California Highways (cahighways.org): Routes 305 through 440.

Page Updated August 27, 2007.

 
Mileage

State California
Mileage 72.15
Cities Irvine, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Torrance, Inglewood, Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Junctions Interstate 5, Interstate 605, Interstate 710, Interstate 110, Interstate 105, Interstate 10, Interstate 5
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-405 California Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
California Irvine 275,000 2002
California Fountain Valley 305,000 2002
California Huntington Beach 281,000 2002
California Seal Beach 377,000 2002
California Long Beach 289,000 2002
California Lawndale 255,000 2002
California Inglewood 310,000 2002
California West Los Angeles 307,000 2002
California north Los Angeles 136,000 2002
Source: Caltrans, Traffic Operations Program - Traffic and Vehicle Data Systems [2002]
Complete Interstate 405 AADT data.

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