Overnight closures are planned next week on the Ortega (74) Highway between Lake Elsinore and Orange County, with no through traffic and limited access for residents while roadwork is underway, according to Caltrans.

The agency said that the nighttime shutdowns will begin Monday at 10 p.m. and conclude about 5 a.m. Tuesday, with identical repeat closures Tuesday night to Wednesday, Wednesday night to Thursday, and Thursday night to Friday.

Watsonville-based Granite Construction Inc. will be doing excavation, grading and milling along segments of the 17-mile two-lane corridor, requiring both sides to be closed, Caltrans spokeswoman Kim Cherry said.

On Monday night, pilot vehicles will be available to escort residents who live in pockets along the Ortega to reach their properties. However, for the rest of the week, no direct access will be available, and motorists will have to use alternate routes to reach their residences.

Officials said that means anyone trying to reach the RV park at the Candy Store will have to enter by way of Lake Elsinore only, not from Orange County.

Alternate routes include Interstates 5 and 15, as well as state Routes 55 and 91.

All motorists trying to transit the 74 to go from one county to the next will be turned around.

The weeknight closures along the corridor began in July and will continue as long as the weather holds up, according to Caltrans.

There is some daytime work Monday to Friday, and when crews are on the highway, one-way flagging operations are in effect, Cherry said.

Four full weekend closures on the highway occurred over the summer, and a fifth had been scheduled this weekend, but officials decided to cancel it.

The $49 million Ortega Widening Project began in February, and in late April, Granite Construction initiated a series of modifications that required the shutdowns.

The widening project entails a multi-stage effort intended to enhance safety along the east-west corridor. Most of the work is focused on expanding existing lanes to 12 feet, as well as widening shoulders on both sides to four feet, Caltrans said.

Crews are additionally installing in-ground rumble strips for the highway centerline and shoulders.

The upgrades are concentrated within a roughly 10-mile stretch.

The project is slated for completion in early 2025.

More information is available at dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-8.

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