Interstate 405

Looking almost due east onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 405, this late-afternoon shot showcases esatern Costa Mesa near John Wayne Airport. Looking onto the expanse of Interstate 405 pavement, the collection of signs direct traffic onto California 55 carpool lanes (left exit) or regular lanes (right exit). Photo taken 10/25/09.


Interstate 405 is the San Diego Freeway, starting at Interstate 5/Golden State Freeway in northern Los Angeles and paralleling the coast via the vicinity of Santa Monica, Los Angeles International Airport, Long Beach, and Huntington Beach. The freeway returns to Interstate 5 near the former El Toro Marine Corps Station in Irvine. Interstate 405 is arguably the busiest freeway on the West Coast, with traffic a concern at any time during the day or night.


For its entire length in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, Interstate 405 is designated as the San Diego Freeway.


During its construction through west Los Angeles near Santa Monica and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the San Diego Freeway was planned as part of former California 7. With the advent of the national Interstate Highway System, the San Diego Freeway was designated as Interstate 405 from Irvine to the San Fernando Valley.

Interstate 405 Guide

Interstate 405 Scenes
Northbound Irvine Center Drive crosses over Interstate 405 and approaches the onramp to Interstate 405 north to Long Beach. Photo taken 10/25/09.
This local sign along eastbound Fortune Drive is located in the Irvine Spectrum Center. The sign provides wayfinding guidance to motorists looking for Interstate 405 and California 133 in Irvine. The next traffic signal is with Gateway Boulevard. Photo taken 10/25/09.
A towering Ferris Wheel and carousel are located within the Irvine Spectrum Center; it is visible from both Interstate 405 and Interstate 5 near the southern convergence of these two major freeways. Photos taken 10/25/09.
This freeway entrance shield assembly is posted from Exit 7 (Jamboree Boulevard) onto northbound Interstate 405 in Irvine. Photo taken 09/22/00.
Northbound MacArthur Boulevard approaches and connects to the loop ramp onto Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway north in Irvine near John Wayne Airport. Notable here is a narrower route marker shield for Interstate 405 on the second guide sign assembly. Photos taken 10/25/09.
Northbound Bristol Street approaches Interstate 405 in Costa Mesa. The next left connects to a loop ramp onto Interstate 405 southeast to Irvine and San Diego, while the next right connects to a loop ramp onto Interstate 405 northwest to Long Beach. Photos taken 10/24/09 and 10/25/09.
This view looks south (east) along Interstate 405 from the Bristol Street overpass in Costa Mesa. The signs in the distance are for the California 55 interchange. Photos taken 10/24/09.
These freeway entrance shield assemblies are posted along northbound Bristol Street at the ramp onto Interstate 405 north. Photos taken 10/24/09.
A neutered detour Interstate 405 route marker (trailblazer shield) is posted along northbound Bristol Street after the Interstate 405 interchange near South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Photos taken 10/24/09.
Now on southbound Bristol Street, an overhead guide sign provides lane allocations for the connections to South Coast Mall (next right), Interstate 405 north to Long Beach (right lane exit only), and Interstate 405 southeast to Irvine and San Diego. Photo taken 10/24/09.
Southbound Bristol Street connects to Interstate 405 north to Long Beach at this onramp. Photo taken 10/24/09.
This view looks north (west) along Interstate 405 from the Bristol Street overpass in Costa Mesa. The next exit along northbound is with South Coast Drive (Exit 11A). Photos taken 10/24/09.
Southbound Bristol Street connects to Interstate 405 southeast to Irvine and San Diego at this onramp. One of the freeway entrance shields is neutered; note the "San Diego Freeway" trailblazer. Photos taken 10/24/09.
Northbound Harbor Boulevard approaches the onramp to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway south to Irvine and San Diego. Continue north on Harbor Boulevard to the connecting ramp to Interstate 405 north to Long Beach and Los Angeles. Photos taken 01/30/05.
Talbert Avenue, an east-west arterial street in Fountain Valley, has no access to Interstate 405 other than a single onramp to Interstate 405 south. All of the other connections are provided at a near-complete cloverleaf interchange with north-south Brookhurst Street. The junction sign seen in the first picture is located prior to Brookhurst Street; turn left to connect with Interstate 405 north. After the traffic signal, a series of signs points the way for the onramp to Interstate 405 south, including one for the "San Diego Freeway." Photos taken 06/17/06.
This Interstate 405 "bubble shield" trailblazer was used for a detour routing in Long Beach along southbound California 1 for a time around 2000. Photo taken 09/22/00.

In the Westwood area of Los Angeles, westbound Wilshire Boulevard approaches Sepulveda Boulevard (former California 7) followed by a right exit to Interstate 405 south. An older guide sign is posted here for Sepulveda Boulevard north to Los Angeles National Cemetery and Wilshire Boulevard west to the VA Hospital of Los Angeles. Photo taken 03/15/08.
Passing under the Interstate 405 freeway, the right two lanes of Wilshire Boulevard will connect to Interstate 405 south. Photo taken 03/15/08.
A pair of Interstate 405 south freeway entrance shield assemblies flank the two-lane entrance to Interstate 405 south from Wilshire Boulevard west. Photo taken 03/15/08.
Four Interstate 405 trailblazers point the way from Wilshire Boulevard east to Interstate 405 north. The first trailblazer shield is the most faded and therefore likely to be the oldest route marker to be found here. Photos taken 03/15/08.

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Page Updated September 11, 2010.

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