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

The Ortega (74) Highway between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano reopened Wednesday following a roughly three-week closure due to storm damage, according to Caltrans.

Caltrans officials said earlier this week that repair work on the roadway was nearing completion.

The damage was concentrated on a patch of roadway a half-mile east of Gibby Road, on the Orange County side of the highway, near Rancho Mission Viejo.

Motorists coming from the OC side were unable to go past that point, nor could motorists originating from the Riverside County side.

On Jan. 25, the roughly 28-mile artery was ordered shut down after a deep void opened, causing a section of pavement to sink. It was preceded by four days of rain.

The depression was the result of road supporting surface apparently washing away, according to Caltrans District 12 spokeswoman Jocelyn Whitfield.

She said the void extended 30 feet, requiring crews to re-fortify the compromised section.

—City News Service

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