Ortega Highway. Photo: Daniel Lane
Ortega Highway. Photo: Daniel Lane

Ortega Highway must be closed for another three weeks while crews work around the clock to rebuild it, Caltrans officials said Tuesday.

Storm-related damage left the road unstable for any traffic. The main thoroughfare in south Orange County has been closed since Jan. 25.

The storms left a 2-foot “void under the lanes where soil and roadway material had been washed away,” according to Caltrans. The cracks in the road there could be more significant issues making the road unstable, the agency reported.

Multiple tests show that up to 30 feet under the roadway is “unstable” and unable to support traffic, according to Caltrans.

Workers will be on the job 24 hours a day to fully repair Ortega Highway.

The highway is closed eastbound on the Orange County side near Cristianitos and Gibby roads in San Juan Capistrano east of Antonio Parkway and La Pata Avenue.

The highway is closed to westbound traffic from Lake Elsinore at Nichols Institute Road to San Juan Capistrano.

Caltrans recommended carpooling or taking Metrolink trains.

–City News Service

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