Contact Us


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.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

We have installed some new anti-spam software, and we are going to try again with open registration. Registration and sign-in information are available at the bottom of the far right column. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you may email us at



La Pata Gap Closure May Break Ground This Month

The long anticipated La Pata Gap Closure project may break ground early as this month.  We’ve previously reported on the OC Board of Supervisors approving the funds and selecting a contractor for the road construction project, and now the dirt will start moving.

According to a recent letter to the community:

In Spring 2014, the County of Orange Public Works Department will break ground on an important  transportation project  - the La Pata Avenue Gap Closure and Camino Del Rio Extension Project (Project).  The Project will improve South County mobility and reduce local  traffic congestion by providing a north/south alternative for daily commuters and will ultimately provide an alternative access  route  in  the event of an emergency , and will benefit the community by providing improved access to schools, residences, commercial areas, and recreational amenities.

The OC Register has an article here, in which it explains why the La Pata Gap Closure project is important for South County:

For San Clemente residents, it will provide a new way out of town and an alternative to I-5, whether for a daily commute, in an emergency evacuation or at times when the freeway is jammed, like it is with an overturned big rig.

For residents of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and north along Antonio Parkway, La Pata will provide an alternate way into San Clemente, to Target and Walmart stores, to Vista Hermosa Sports Park and to the beach. That direct route will eliminate a long roundabout route between that part of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.

Below is a graphic showing the scope of the project:

image source: OC Public Works

According to the Register article, the project will take place in three stages:

  • The first stage, indicated in blue in the map above, is the construction of a four lane extension of La Pata Avenue between the Calle Saluda terminus in San Clemente and the entrance to Prima Deshecha Landfill.
  • The second stage, indicated in yellow above, will see the existing La Pata Avenue on the San Juan Capistrano side widened to five lanes (including a dedicated truck lane).
  • Finally, in the third stage, indicated in orange above, Camino del Rio in San Clemente will be extended to connect with La Pata.

It might all be complete by 2017, if early schedules are any indication.  And if you are one of those worried about odors as buried trash is excavated and relocated to the west to make room for the roadway, here is a link to the project’s planned odor control measures.  Below is a 3D simulation of the completed project, courtesy of OC Public Works:

More information on the La Pata Gap Closure project is available from the OC Public Works project web site for La Pata here.

Comments are closed.