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I-5/Ortega Highway Construction Update for the Holidays

Lots of closures and disruptions on tap for the I-5/Ortega Highway interchange during the next few weeks.  As we will be taking some time off for the holidays, we’re putting it all out there for you now.  Courtesy of Caltrans, below is the construction schedule:

First, full freeways closures are scheduled for this weekend:

On Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21, crews will perform full closures on the northbound and southbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway in order to complete grading activities on the Ortega Highway bridge. Please see below for additional details:
  • Friday, December 20 – Full closure of the northbound and southbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway between 11:59 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    DETOUR: From the northbound  or southbound I-5 freeway, exit Ortega Highway. Proceed straight through the intersection and re-enter the freeway on the sequential Ortega Highway on-ramp.
  • Saturday, December 21 – Full closure of the northbound and southbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway between 11:59 p.m. and 6 a.m.
    DETOUR: From the northbound or southbound I-5 freeway, exit Ortega Highway. Proceed straight through the intersection and re-enter the freeway on the sequential Ortega Highway on-ramp.

During both nights of the full-freeway closures, the northbound and southbound I-5 on- and off-ramps will not be accessible to city traffic, they will be reserved as a detour route for freeway motorists only. In addition, Ortega Highway between Del Obispo Street and Rancho Viejo Road will also be closed to traffic.

Second, a short respite during the week of Christmas:

In observance of the Christmas Holiday, crews will not perform any nighttime closures from Tuesday, December 24 through Sunday, December 29.

Third, as we look towards January, note that the southbound off-ramp is being reduced to one lane for the duration of the project.  Plan accordingly.

  • Beginning Thursday, January 2, crews will reconfigure the I-5 southbound off-ramp at Ortega Highway to one lane. This configuration is expected to last for the duration of the project while crews work to reconstruct the southbound I-5 off-ramp and surrounding Ortega Highway interchange.Currently, the off-ramp has three lanes at the intersection – two dedicated left-turn lanes and one dedicated right-turn lane. The new configuration will provide only one lane to make both left and right-turns onto Ortega Highway.
  • Pile driving is expected to begin in late-January / early-February on the I-5 southbound off-ramp at Ortega Highway. Pile driving is necessary to reconstruct the off-ramp and will last intermittently for approximately one month. Please be advised that this activity may be loud and disruptive due to vibration and pounding.

Fourth, an update on some recent and upcoming construction milestones:

Crews have completed several construction milestones on the Ortega Highway bridge during the last month. The next major activity to take place on the south half of the bridge will be framing work, which will take place the weekend of December 20. In the coming weeks, crews will also perform a stem pour on the bridge as well as a deck pour that will take place after the New Year.

Fifth, below are the schedule closures and reductions between now and December 28th:

Full Closures:

  • Northbound I-5 full freeway closure at Ortega Highway (SR-74) 
    • Full closure of the northbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway (SR-74) on Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between 11:59 p.m and 6 a.m.
  • Southbound I-5 full freeway closure at Ortega Highway (SR-74) 
    • Full closure of the southbound I-5 freeway at Ortega Highway (SR-74) on Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between 11:59 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Westbound Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed between Rancho Viejo Road and Del Obispo Street
    • Full closure of westbound Ortega Highway (SR-74) on Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Eastbound Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed between Del Obispo Street and Rancho Viejo Road
    • Full closure of eastbound Ortega Highway (SR-74) on Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Ramp Closures:

  • Northbound I-5 off-ramp to Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed
    • Ramp closed Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between
      11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during full-freeway closure. Ramps will only be accessible to motorists using the freeway detours.
  • Northbound I-5 on-ramp from Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed
    • Ramp closed Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between
      11 p.m. and 6 a.m .during full-freeway closure. Ramps will only be accessible to motorists using the freeway detours.
  • Southbound I-5 off-ramp to Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed
    • Ramp closed Friday, 12/20 and Saturday 12/21 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.during full-freeway closure. Ramps will only be accessible to motorists using the freeway detours.
  • Southbound I-5 on-ramp from Ortega Highway (SR-74) closed
    • Ramp closed. Friday, 12/20 and Saturday, 12/21 between
      11 p.m. and 6 a.m. during full-freeway closure. Ramps will only be accessible to motorists using the freeway detours.

And finally, an interactive map of the scheduled closures and reductions if you are so inclined:

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