Ortega Highway Bridge Demolition Finished in Time

Part of the San Juan Capistrano City officials and community leaders’ $86 million project to build a new interchange for Ortega Highway and I-5 was completed this week on time this weekend. It was the first full closure for Ortega Highway’s bridge and the freeway portion underneath.

The closure of a freeway is enough to turn a sane person crazy but this freeway closure was a success considering that there were no serious accidents reported through people going insane. Those who were planning to travel through the San Juan Capistrano area via the I-5 or Ortega Highway on August 2nd and the 3rd had to reroute to avoid the closure as the south side of the bridge that passes over the freeway was demolished.

Its builders were able to dodge the hefty fines by adhering to the strict time constraints. About 80 percent of the south side of the bridge was demolished Friday night and into the early morning hours Saturday by hydraulic excavators.

Caltrans spokeswoman Cindy Azima told reporters that demolition and clean-up continued the following night and the freeway reopened on time at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

“They had no major issues that arose,” Azima said. “We are very happy with the results.”

Although there were no accidents, there was one arrest Friday night when a car passed through the California Highway Patrol’s barricade that was blocking traffic from entering the construction area on the freeway.

Most of the traffic congestion occurred up until 1 a.m., Azima said.

The completion of this project is by the spring of 2015. It is intended to relieve the traffic congestion at what Caltrans officials call one of Orange County’s worst chokepoints.

If Caltrans failed to abide by the bridge and freeway closure schedule, they would pay fines starting at $1,700 for every 10 minutes during the first half-hour, then $2,600 every 10 minutes for the second half-hour and $3,400 every 10 minutes thereafter.

Crews prepared the southern portion of the bridge for demolition since its closure on June 1st. Over the next several months, that portion of the bridge will be rebuilt. Once that is completed, traffic will be switched to that side, and the process will be repeated on the north side.

Traffic can irritate aggravated drivers, which makes for a hostile driving atmosphere. Hopefully with the completion of this project the amount of car accidents that happen through that area of the city are solved.

Until then, if you are in an accident contact the Dara Khajavi Offices that specify in Orange County injury cases.

Call (877)782-3777 for a free consultation with a San Juan Capistrano car accident lawyer today!