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By Eric Heinz
Progress is continuing on the Avenida Pico widening, and next week some significant on- and off-ramp closures will take place.
“Construction on the Avenida Pico segment, (which will start the) traffic switch, marks a significant milestone that will, for the first time, transition southbound traffic onto the new I-5 bridge over Avenida Pico,” said Eric Carpenter, public information officer for the Orange County Transportation Authority. “The switch will require significant lane reductions southbound on the I-5 freeway between 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 and noon Saturday, Aug. 20. The southbound lane reductions will be between Avenida Vista Hermosa and Avenida Palizada—a segment that totals just under one mile.”
New pavement will be put together in the area during that time.
“Right now there are four lanes of southbound traffic in that segment. Beginning at 10 p.m. on Aug. 19, traffic will be reduced to one lane,” Carpenter said. “This will allow sufficient room for crews to work in a tight space, while ensuring the safety of work crews and motorists traveling through the segment.”
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.
Carpenter said the benefits from this project are enhancing safety by creating “less of a curve on the freeway.”
He also said the switching of lanes is a “major milestone” for the project.
During the 14-hour construction period (10 p.m. to noon) the following ramps will be closed: southbound on-ramps at Avenida Vista Hermosa and Avenida Pico, southbound off-ramps at Avenida Pico and Avenida Palizada.
“Motorists are advised to avoid the area during the 14-hour construction period if possible and to expect traffic delays,” Carpenter said.
The I-5 South Improvement Project is scheduled to be finished by early 2018.
More information on the project can be found at www.octa.net/i5south.