COSTA MESA, Calif. — After nearly six years of construction, express lanes opened Friday on the San Diego (405) Freeway between Costa Mesa and southern Los Angeles County, promoting a faster ride for people willing to pay the toll.

The $2.16 billion project, which began in 2018, added one new lane in each direction as well as express lanes between state Route 73 and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, a first for Orange County freeways. The project also included upgrades to streets and on- and off-ramps through the cities affected. Crews also reconstructed 18 bridges, some of which include new sidewalks and bike lanes.

The freeway is used by about 370,000 vehicles each day, making it one of the most-traveled in the nation, according to the OCTA. The project will improve travel times, officials said.

People using the toll lanes will have to have a FasTrak transponder in their vehicle. The toll will vary depending on congestion and the time of day. Carpools with two people can use the lanes for free during non-peak hours for the next three years, but tolls will be required during peak hours.

Three-person carpools will be free at all times.

According to The Orange County Register, drivers will pay on average $3 to traverse the entire length of the toll lanes.