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Posted on: July 26, 2019

OCTA South County Improvements Project

Road Work

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Today, nearly 360,000 motorists travel I-5 daily between the San Joaquin Hills Toll Road (SR-73) and El Toro Road. Transportation planners expect traffic volumes to grow 25 percent by 2045. To address this travel demand, OCTA and Caltrans are working together to implement the San Diego Freeway (I-5) Widening project from SR-73 to El Toro Road.

Located adjacent to the cities of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel, this $580 million freeway improvement project was approved by Orange County voters in November 2006. Once construction begins, the project will be built in three segments and include numerous roadway, structural and operational improvements, some of which are highlighted below:


  • New northbound and southbound general purpose lane from Avery Parkway to Alicia Parkway to increase capacity
  • Extension of the second carpool lane from Alicia Parkway to El Toro Road, in both directions


  • Reconstruct two interchanges, as well as widen bridges
  • Modify multiple on- and off-ramps
  • Add new sound and retaining walls


  • Convert carpool lanes throughout project limits to continuous access, to facilitate entering and exiting throughout the corridor
  • Add new and re-establish auxiliary (merge) lanes, improving merging and diverging
  • Install new overhead signage and lighting
  • Restripe within project limits


  • LENGTH: 6.5 miles
  • ADJACENT CITIES: Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Laguna Niguel, San Juan Capistrano
  • TOTAL ESTIMATED COST: $580 million
  • SCHEDULE: Mid 2019 – 2025

Flyer for the OCTA South County Improvements project for the interstate 5 freeway

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