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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Update on I-5/Avenida Pico Project

The construction project underway at Ortega Highway is far from the only major South County transportation project on the calendar.  Recently, OCTA met with local stakeholders to discuss the timeline and plans for the I-5/Avenida Pico project.  According to the report:

More than 20 community leaders from San Clemente and Dana Point, including San Clemente Councilwoman and OCTA Director Lori Donchak attended the San Clemente Stakeholder Working Group. The leaders discussed the project’s suggested detour routes, construction timing and design aesthetics for the Avenida Pico bridge.

Updated plans include an 800-foot decorative retaining wall that will be constructed at Camino Capistrano and Stonehill Ave. Designed by community leaders, the mission-inspired wall won approval by the San Juan Capistrano City Council last month. The wall reflects the bells found at the Mission’s Great Stone Church.

While construction for the freeway widening will begin in San Juan Capistrano in early 2014, construction on the retaining wall will begin in late 2014 through spring 2015.

The next Stakeholder Working Group meeting will be held in late August.

The I-5/Avenida Pico project is an effort to improve a nearly six mile stretch of I-5 between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano that suffers from congestion and delay as well as to modernize the I-5/Avenida Pico interchange.  Scheduled to take four years and cost approximately $275 million, according to OCTA, the project will:

  • Add a carpool lane in both directions on I-5 between Avenida Pico and San Juan Creek Road
  • Improve the sight distance on the southbound horizontal curve north of PCH
  • Reconstruct the interchange at Avenida Pico, including widening the northbound Avenida Pico on-ramp to three lanes, and provide dual left-turn lanes to both northbound and southbound Avenida Pico on-ramps
  • Add soundwalls and retaining walls where needed

If you haven’t seen it, below is an image of one of the proposed retaining walls near Camino Capistrano.  It’s not a very large image, but it is the only one we could find on the OCTA web site.  Hopefully, you can still see the details.  We think it is really well designed and the mission bells provides a very “South County” look.  Well done!

Retaining Wall Design (credit: OCTA)

If you are interested in more information about this project, OCTA maintains a project web site here and provides a downloadable PDF about the project here.

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