County planners are considering adding lanes to I-5 from the El Toro Y through Mission Viejo to the SR-73 toll road. What they decide will impact your drive both during construction and after.
And it could impact taxpayers to the tune of half a billion dollars or more.
Here are two opportunities to learn more and have your questions answered by project planners.
The following is from Joel Zlotnik, media relations officer for the Orange County Transportation Authority:
Community meetings are scheduled for Feb. 27 and 28 to inform residents about planned improvements on the San Diego Freeway (I-5) in South County between SR-73 and El Toro Road.
The community meetings will provide an opportunity for residents and businesses to meet members of the project team and ask questions. The purpose of the project is to enhance traffic flow, improve mobility and reduce congestion throughout the project area.
The community meetings are both from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the following locations:
- Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center in Mission Viejo
- Thursday, Feb 28, at Laguna Hills Community Center, 25555 Alicia Parkway in Laguna Hills
The I-5 improvements are being planned by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) in conjunction with Caltrans. The project will be paid for by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax approved by Orange County voters for transportation improvements, as well as federal funds.
Three project options are currently being studied:
- No Build
- Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction and extending the second carpool lane from the El Toro interchange to Alicia Parkway (estimated cost $560 million)
- Adding two general-purpose lanes in each direction and extending the second carpool lane from the El Toro interchange to Alicia Parkway (estimated cost $700 million)
In addition, the proposed plan would reconstruct the Avery Parkway and La Paz Road interchanges and add soundwalls and retaining walls as needed. The project is early in the environmental analysis phase and the draft environmental impact report is expected to be released for review and comment this summer. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018.
OCTA outreach team members have been active in the local community by meeting with city and community leaders and members of the public from Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest and Mission Viejo.
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