SCSQUARED halfBy Eric Heinz 

During the Oct. 20 San Clemente City Council meeting, the council voted to allocate funding to a study to look at the construction of Interstate 5 interchanges. The grant would be submitted under the Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant Program from CalTrans. The cost of the study is estimated to be $200,000 with the city’s responsibility of paying $23,000 of the cost.

The study would look at increasing accessibility for bicycles and pedestrians around the underpasses of avenidas Pico, Vista Hermosa,, Palizada, Mendocino, Calafia and Camino de Estrella at the San Clemente-Capistrano Beach border, as well as area of South El Camino Real near I-5.

During the council meeting, Councilman Bob Baker said he was taken aback by the cost of these studies, which he said would probably show what the council already knows—cost of improvements and how long they’ll take.

Baker said the study would give the council the full, intricate details of the project but questioned whether the cost would be worth it.

Other council members said they would like to see the details of the study even if the cost does seem lofty.

The action was split into two decisions: to fund the study and to authorize the city manager’s office to execute an evaluation of the grant, which passed 3-2 and 4-1 respectively.

Council members said the completion of the project could take 10 to 20 years, as the work on different interchanges would be extensive. Brenda Miller, who spoke during the public comment portion of the discussion, said it would be imperative for the city to examine more interchanges along the highways in San Clemente in the near future, citing the lack of available transportation or at least safe transportation at many of the interfaces.

For more information, visit and look under “Government” and “City Council” agendas on Oct. 21 to review the plans for the study.

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