I-5 / Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project

I-5 / Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project

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Project Overview


The Ortega Highway Interchange Improvement Project , initiated by Caltrans, OCTA and the City of San Juan Capistrano,  is the solution to the  “choke point”, where significant delay and congestion occur along the Ortega Highway (SR-74) at the San Diego Freeway (I-5) interchange.



The project will:


•  Construct a new traffic interchange that will replace the existing I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange

•  Reconstruct the existing Ortega Highway bridge over the I-5

•  Widen existing on- and off-ramps

•  Construct a new northbound I-5 loop on-ramp from  eastbound Ortega Highway

•  Realign Ortega Highway to the west of the I-5 interchange  to curve into Del Obispo instead of
   continuing straight Into Camino Capistrano



Project Benefits:


•  Provide congestion relief to improve local traffic flow as well as ease regional commutes

•  Relieve the existing traffic congestion chokepoint at the I-5 / Ortega Highway Interchange

•  Improve traffic safety and operations at the I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange

•  Eliminate existing geometric deficiencies

•  Create consistency with existing and planned local development



Fact Sheet 






Project Map


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Construction Schedule


Start Date: Early 2013

Completion Date: Spring 2015



Project History


Project studies were initiated in July 2000 to develop viable alternatives to relieve the “choke point” at the I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange. Initially, 16 possible alternatives were developed.


In 2003 the project recommenced, and a series of public and city governance meetings were held. As a result of community interaction, five potential interchange improvements were carried forward for a study and approved in a Project Study Report. The five alternatives studied in the Project Study Report were presented at a public meeting held in 2006.  After a 2006 updated traffic analysis, it was determined that three alternatives were not viable.


After careful evaluation all comments by the public and local agencies, the current project was selected as the preferred alternative for final design. 



Final EIR 


Traffic Management Plan 

Keeping You Informed