The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC

Credit: THY VO, Voice of OC

Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713
Eric Carpenter (714) 560-5697


Aug. 11, 2016

I-5 South County Lane and Ramp Closures Planned

Drivers should expect delays as southbound I-5 freeway is reduced to one lane for 14 hours starting Friday, Aug. 19 in San Clemente

ORANGE – Drivers are advised that temporary lane closures and ramp closures on the southbound San Diego Freeway (I-5) in South Orange County are planned for Aug. 19 and 20, potentially causing significant traffic delays as freeway improvements reach a major milestone.

Three out of four southbound lanes will be closed beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 between Avenida Vista Hermosa and Avenida Palizada in San Clemente. No northbound lane closures are scheduled.

Drivers should avoid the area during the 14-hour construction period if possible and plan for delays between 10 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The period of intense construction work along the southbound I-5 freeway will allow traffic immediately afterward to switch for the first time onto the newly constructed bridge over Avenida Pico in San Clemente.

“This is a time of exciting progress on this project, which will enhance safety and ease traffic congestion on the I-5 freeway through South Orange County,” said OCTA Chair Lori Donchak. “At the same time, we understand that this major construction is an inconvenience and we appreciate the public’s continued patience as crews complete this important work.”

During the construction period, crews will grind pavement, lay new pavement and restripe the southbound freeway lanes and adjacent ramps.

Currently, there are four lanes of southbound traffic on the freeway in this area. The lanes will be reduced to one open lane, allowing sufficient room for crews to work in a tight space, while ensuring the safety of workers and drivers.

The schedule calls for two lanes of traffic to open on the new segment of freeway at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20. Work is scheduled to be completed by noon on Aug. 20, at which time southbound traffic is scheduled to reopen to four lanes on the newly constructed bridge.

During the 14-hour construction period, the following ramps also will be closed:

  •      Southbound on-ramps at Avenida Vista Hermosa and Avenida Pico.
  •      Southbound off-ramps at Avenida Pico and Avenida Palizada.

Construction on this segment of the I-5 South County Improvement Project began in early 2015. The entire project will add nearly six miles of carpool lanes in each direction between Avenida Pico in San Clemente and San Juan Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano.

It also reconstructs the Avenida Pico interchange, widening the on-ramp to three lanes and adding dual left-turn lanes to the northbound and southbound Avenida Pico off-ramps. Another benefit of the project is enhancing safety by raising the freeway and creating less of a dip as drivers travel through that stretch.

The $230-million project is scheduled for completion in 2018.

For updated information on the project, visit

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