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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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Carmageddon 2: Announcing I-5/Avenida Pico Closures

Everyone loves a good sequel.  Just as South County almost … almost adjusts to the I-5/Ortega Highway interchange project, we receive word that the I-5/Avenida Pico project has arrived, just in time for summer blockbuster season.  Prepare for Carmageddon 2!

OCTA is advising of some upcoming closures necessitated by nighttime bridge demolition work:

Nighttime Bridge Demolition to Begin Monday on I-5 in South County

Demolition work set periodically from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. through May 7

ORANGE – Drivers will see some lane reductions and ramp closures beginning late Monday on the San Diego (I-5) Freeway in South Orange County as crews begin nighttime bridge demolition at Pacific Coast Highway/Camino Las Ramblas. Nearby residents also should be advised that the work may be loud because of the demolition activity, construction equipment and back-up alarms. The work, part of a $249-million traffic-relief project, is necessary to accommodate additional lanes on each side of the freeway.  Demolition work will take place nightly between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday, April 28 through Thursday, May 1, then resume during the same hours May 4 – 7.  During demolition activities, at least two lanes on each side of the I-5 freeway will remain open at all times.

The following streets and ramps will be closed on demolition nights between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for safety:

• PCH / Camino Las Ramblas will close directly under the I-5 freeway

• Northbound I-5 loop on-ramp at PCH / Camino Las Ramblas

• Southbound I-5 loop on-ramp at PCH / Camino Las Ramblas

• Northbound I-5 off-ramp to PCH / Beach Cities will close during demolition on the northbound I-5 shoulder.

For additional closure and detour information, please visit:

The I-5 South County Improvement Project will add a carpool lane in both directions between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, as well as rebuild the Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente.  The project will take three years from its start at San Juan Creek Road to its completion at Avenida Pico. The improvements are funded by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax that was approved by voters in 2006, as well as state and local funds.

For a map and to sign up for construction alerts, go to:

These are all important, much needed and long overdue transportation improvements, but living through them is a bit like being an extra in a big budget disaster movie.

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