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VIDEO: Caltrans, City Leaders Break Ground on Ortega Project

It's official: The interchange overhaul has begun.

What's an $86.2 million project without a ceremonial groundbreaking?

Check out the video to see some of the festivities, which took place under a giant white tent where the Jack in the Box once stood.

Caltran estimates it will take two-plus years to build a new Ortega Highway interchange at the I-5 Freeway. 

The project will involve some closures along the way:

  • Northbound I-5 off-ramp to Ortega Highway (3 weeks)
  • Southbound I-5 on-ramp from Ortega Highway (6 weeks)
  • Ortega Highway between southbound I-5 ramps and Del Obispo (3 weeks)
  • Ortega Highway between El Camino Real and Del Obispo (4 weeks)

Stay tuned to Patch for updates about the project.

Check out all our latest headlines.

Buck February 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Don't know how anyone can conduct a ceremony or celebration for the morphing of San Juan Capistrano into an Irvine or an LA!!!
Matt Gaffney February 21, 2013 at 07:11 PM
I don't think Capo will ever morph into any other city. As a lifetime resident it's a little late to complain about the size of my town. That train left the station a long time ago. This is the result of all the growth that has occured in the last 40 years. There were no traffic jams in Capo 40 years ago. Not all the growth has been in Capo either, all the surrounding cities have grown too. I used to travel from my apt. on Calle Reynalda to the CUSD warehouse on Victoria St. in Capo Beach in 5 minutes. There was no light at Camino Capistrano & Del Obispo just a 4 way stop. There was a stop sign at Camino Cap & San Juan Creek Rd, another stop at Aeropuerto ( the speed limit was 55) & another stop sign at Doheny Park Rd & Victoria in Capo Beach. That was it. There was very little housing east of the freeway & virtually none out San Juan Creek Rd. east of Ambuehl school, Ambuehl school wasn't even built yet. Old Mission School, San Juan Elementary, Marco Forster & Old Capo High that had 6th graders were the only schools in town. Commercial development on Camino Cap. southbound ended at the old Post Office. So if you've lived in Capo for less than 40 years you're part of the problem. We're really fortunate that the Founding Fathers of the City of San Juan Capistrano had a vision to limit growth & by & large Capo's numbers are right where my Dad Jerry Gaffney, one of Capo's first Planning Commissioners, said they'd be way back in the late 60s & early 70s.
Buy My Bikes February 21, 2013 at 07:44 PM
It has been 13 years in the making ! It will bee a wonderful addition to our fine City! See you at the parade!!!
Smokey Bear February 21, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Boo I am against this!! Boooo!! & I have lived here almost 25 years. People didn't used to know where this was & we had wildlife in our yards & pristine hiking trails & views of more hills, not all of the housing tracts like it is now! Now SDGE wants to turn our town into a power station & bulldoze historical buildings & up the nuclear juice to do so! I am totally bummed about all of the development! When is it enough already!!!
Dusty W Otero February 22, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I grew up on the dirt roads in this valley,and have been here longer than any of you ,,and I am excited to see the 3 rd make over of the valley..(.first one)=Orange grove before Jack in the box...(two)=Jack in the box and all these fast foods,,tiny naylers,colony kitchen and ( three)- the new age freeway interchange ,,and the Ranch build-out,,,this is 3 changes I have saw,,,and you want to talk about how long you have lived here,,,well ..I have my founding family of 1845 on my Spanish Italian side,,,and lets go to the Mission native American side...lol ..time has come today,,,for this amount of people living here,,,this is Awesome,,,and I worked freeway construction for 25 years,,and the contractor who is building our NEW bridge Flat Iron construction,,I been employed with them as a concrete carpenter on many huge highway projects,,,there the Best in the world,,so I am loving it,,to see this go on in my old farming town I grew up in...chill-out..
Dusty W Otero February 22, 2013 at 01:36 AM
I liked you 'r Dad he was a good smart man just like my step dad Dale Ladd,My step dad work for the aerospace company ,and had his own swiss auto-matic screw machine company too,,,I remember him telling us kids,,that someday we would have pay t-v,,,and something about computer chips,,,I thought we would eat computer chips,,lol and pay tv ended up to be cox cable,,,Our Dads were right on the money for future plans take care Matt..
Matt Gaffney February 22, 2013 at 05:36 AM
Chill out, well said Ronny.

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