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SC logo squareBy Eric Heinz

Road work on Interstate 5 has congested some late-night traffic between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente in the last few weeks.

Most of the congestion has been brought on by concrete slab replacements, Joel Zlotnik, an Orange County Transportation Authority spokesperson, said.

“If you were to drive the freeway between Vista Hermosa and Camino de Estrella you would notice some new concrete,” Zlotnik said. “For crews to do that safely, they need to bring the freeway down to one lane.”

Most of the construction takes place between 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., according to the closure times on the OCTA website. Zlotnik said the goal is to finish the current portion of the highway project by Friday.

Zlotnik said people can expect to encounter the typical construction that’s taken place since the beginning of the I-5 expansion in the area. The on- and off-ramps to Avenida Pico could experience some 54-hour closures in order to speed the construction process.

In September, there will be some filling work for the bridge abutments and pile driving work during the daytime, Zlotnik said.

“As far as lane closures, those are kept to a minimum on the freeway or Pico,” he said.

Zlotnik said there aren’t any lane reductions on Pico or on the freeway during the day and that the 54-hour closures would be overnight.

“To undertake a project of this scope and scale and be able to do it without any regular lane closures is a pretty significant undertaking,” Zlotnik said. “It’s an inconvenience sometimes, but we have to keep the bigger picture in mind.”

For overnight on-ramp and off-ramp closures, visit www.octa.net and click on the District 12 or 1-5 Pico South information.

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