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Caltrans Announces I-5/Ortega Interchange Closures and Detours

On its project site for the I-5/Ortega Interchange Project, Caltrans has announced the duration of the closures affecting the Ortega Interchange and the official detour routes.  For those of you who are unaware, Caltrans will be essentially shutting down the I-5/Ortega Highway interchange for an extended period of time to improve the design of the freeway interchange, and to realign Ortega and Del Obispo Street into a more direct route that avoids the congestion of Old Town San Juan Capistrano.  Caltrans summarizes the project as follows:

The Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project , initiated by Caltrans, OCTA and the City of San Juan Capistrano,  is the solution to the  “choke point”, where significant delay and congestion occur along the Ortega Highway (SR-74) at the San Diego Freeway (I-5) interchange.

The project will:

  • Construct a new traffic interchange that will replace the existing I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange
  • Reconstruct the existing Ortega Highway bridge over the I-5
  • Widen existing on- and off-ramps
  • Construct a new northbound I-5 loop on-ramp from eastbound Ortega Highway
  • Realign Ortega Highway to the west of the I-5 interchange  to curve into Del Obispo instead of continuing straight into Camino Capistrano

Project Benefits:

  • Provide congestion relief to improve local traffic flow as well as ease regional commutes
  • Relieve the existing traffic congestion chokepoint at the I-5/Ortega Highway Interchange
  • Improve traffic safety and operations at the I-5/Ortega Highway interchange
  • Eliminate existing geometric deficiencies
  • Create consistency with existing and planned local development

We discussed this project extensively in our post Carmageddon Coming to San Juan Capistrano.  Caltrans has announced the major road closures and the duration of each, as well as the official detour routes.  The summary version is as follows:

  • The Northbound I-5 off-ramp at Ortega Highway will be closed for three weeks.
  • The Southbound I-5 on-ramp at Ortega Highway will be closed for six weeks.
  • Ortega Highway between Southbound I-5 on- and off-ramps and Del Obispo will be closed for three weeks.
  • Ortega Highway between El Camino Real and Del Obispo will be closed for four weeks.

Full project maps and detour routes have been reproduced below the jump.

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