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



OCTA Seeking Comments on its Draft Long Range Transportation Plan at Public Meeting Tonight

There is a ton of construction going on in South County right now. For the next few years, South County residents will need to deal with construction on I-5 at Avenida Pico, Ortega Highway and El Toro just for starters. We will also watch as the Rancho Mission Viejo transportation infrastructure is built out over [...]

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:

Taylor Morrison Looking to Close Marblehead Property Purchase

Last month, we reported on efforts to sell the Marblehead coastal property in San Clemente to one of four potential homebuilders. That sale hit a snag. As we reported then:

Efforts by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate to sell off the residential portion of the Marblehead development in San Clemente have hit a snag. The [...]

Toll Roads Scrap I-5 Connector; Refocus on Tesoro Extension

The under-resourced and under-staffed Patch is still able to break some local news, such as this story:

Officials overseeing the 241 Toll Road in Orange County said today they have moved to scrap federal environmental reviews of an extension of the major arterial to San Diego County because they have languished for about a decade. [...]

Carmageddon, The Sequel: Avenida Pico Construction Begins This Weekend

Just when you had figured out how to maneuver the various lane reductions and freeway closures in and around the Ortega Highway/I-5 interchange, comes now the Avenida Pico improvement project. Construction begins this weekend on $249 million project, officially titled the I-5 South County Improvement Project, to rebuild the Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente [...]

Highlights from I-5/Avenida Pico Groundbreaking Ceremony

Below is a short video compilation, courtesy of Patch (full article here), showing highlights from yesterday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the I-5/Avenida Pico improvement project.

Groundbreaking Tomorrow on 6 Mile I-5/Avenida Pico Project

Tomorrow is the groundbreaking of the $249 million project to add carpool lanes on I-5 in each direction between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. The nearly 6 mile project extends from Avenida Pico in San Clemente to San Juan Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano. The project will:

Add a carpool lane in both [...]

OCTA Schedules Two Open Houses to Discuss I-5/Avenida Pico Project

OCTA has announced two open houses where the public can learn more about the I-5/Avenida Pico improvement project affecting San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. From the OCTA press release:

OCTA Plans Open Houses in South County

The public will have two opportunities to learn about upcoming I-5 improvements

ORANGE – Open [...]

Computer Simulation of Reconstructed I-5/Avenida Pico Interchange

SJC Patch has captured video of a computer simulation of the reconstructed I-5/Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente. Video is embedded below or available here.

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 [...]