FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 2, 2015
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Yvonne Washington, Caltrans (949) 724-2644, Joel Zlotnik, OCTA (714) 560-5713
Rebuilt Ortega Highway Interchange Ready for Drivers
$81.3 million worth of improvements open to traffic Sept. 4 and include realigned and widened bridge over the I-5 freeway
IRVINE – Improvements to the Ortega Highway Interchange at the San Diego (I-5) Freeway in San Juan Capistrano totaling more than $81 million are nearing completion and are expected to open to traffic on Friday, Sept. 4.
The opening of the Ortega Highway Interchange will help ease traffic delays through the heavily traveled interchange, especially during the peak morning and evening commutes.
Caltrans, the Orange County Transportation Authority, the city of San Juan Capistrano, residents, businesses, and the contractor collaborated to alleviate major traffic congestion along the I-5 and Ortega Highway (SR-74) interchange. “At Caltrans we are working to not only preserve our investments in the state highway system, but are also investing in projects that enhance bike and pedestrian access and safety,” said District Director Ryan Chamberlain.
Improvements to the interchange began in February 2013 and include the following:
· A reconstructed Ortega Highway bridge over the I-5 freeway, widened with additional turn lanes and through lanes
· Widening of the existing north & south I-5 on- and off-ramps to improve traffic flow
· Construction of a new northbound loop on-ramp to the I-5 freeway
· Realignment of Ortega Highway west of the I-5 interchange, curving the road into Del Obispo instead of continuing straight into Camino Capistrano
· Del Obispo street west of the interchange was realigned, eliminating the need for two intersections & streamlining it with one intersection & one traffic signal.
“This has been a notorious traffic choke point for local drives and regional commuters and we’re happy to have partnered with Caltrans and San Juan Capistrano to deliver a project that will enhance safety and get people where they want to be more quickly”, said OCTA Chairman Jeff Lalloway, also Mayor Pro Tem of Irvine. “We know that construction hasn’t always been easy on residents and businesses and I want to thank them for their patience during the project.”
The majority of funding was provided by the State of California, with additional funding from Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation, and the city of San Juan Capistrano.
# # #