Cofiroute USA, a subsidiary of motorway operator VINCI Autoroutes, has been awarded a $60m, five-year operation contract by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) for 91 Express Lanes Extension in California.

The contract covers ten miles of new Express Lanes on State Route 91 (SR-91), located in the south of Los Angeles.

Scheduled to come into effect following the completion of construction in 2017, the contract involves lane monitoring, maintenance of highway equipment, supervision of the toll systems, and back-office and customer service management for SR-91.

Cofiroute USA has been associated with the project and the free flow toll system since its commencement in 1995, operating the existing ten miles for the OCTA since 2002.

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The new free flow toll section is part of a vital highway development programme worth $1.3bn, and the Riverside County agency is responsible for the project management.

"The contract covers ten miles of new Express Lanes on State Route 91 (SR-91), located in the south of Los Angeles."

The construction contract, awarded by RCTC to a joint venture comprising Atkinson Contractors and Walsh Construction, involves widening of the SR-91 to a seven-lane freeway, building an interchange and an extension of the existing Express Lanes.

Work on the project will start at the end of 2013, and is expected to take three years to complete. The project will ease traffic flow on the SR-91 that is used by 300,000 vehicles each day.

These improvements will also reduce delays, allow faster emergency response, lower local street congestion and offer better access to public transit and trails.

Cofiroute USA president and CEO Gary Hausdorfer said: "Because of the new systems and technology we recently installed for the existing 91 Express Lanes operation, Cofiroute USA will be able to accommodate future expansion of this vital corridor."