An aerial rendering of Caltrans’ completed Interstate 5/Ortega Highway interchange project. Ortega Highway will undergo a three-week closure starting Monday, Nov. 3 as crews reconfigure the road between Del Obispo Street and I-5. Photo: Courtesy of Caltrans

The Capistrano Dispatch 

Ortega Highway between Interstate 5 and Del Obispo Street in San Juan Capistrano reopened Monday, Nov. 24, following a three-week closure that allowed construction crews to reconfigure the highway, according to a statement from the Orange County Transportation Authority.

The work was part of the I-5/Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project. Crews finished the segment of Ortega Highway a day early, opening the roadway Monday morning. Westbound motorists on Ortega Highway are now being funneled onto Del Obispo under the new configuration.

Also open are the new portion of the southbound I-5 off-ramp, the new portion of the Ortega Highway bridge and the new southbound I-5 on-ramp. Motorists can drive, and pedestrians can walk, east or west across the bridge to get to businesses along Del Obispo, as well as those on the east side of I-5.

Work is continuing on the stretch of Ortega Highway between Del Obispo and El Camino Real. The segment is set to reopen by Dec. 5, restoring direct access to San Juan Capistrano’s Historic Town Center. In the meantime, motorists can reach the town center by heading down Del Obispo and turning right on Camino Capistrano, or coming down Camino Capistrano from Junipero Serra Road.

Demolition of the north side of the Ortega Highway bridge over I-5 is scheduled to begin Dec. 12, and will take two nights to complete. The freeway will be closed during the demolition, and motorists will be detoured using the Ortega Highway off- and on-ramps.

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