SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO ( — 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.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (4)
  1. Cal Trans IS NOT working around the clock. Many days no- one works. Many days they are smoking cigarettes and standing around. Cal Trans and Rancho Mission Viejo contributed to the slide but both point fingers and NO solutions. State of California total FAILURE to maintain a highway and waited to decide what to do. First they didn’t have proper camera ( was in northern California) camera offered free from local plumber they didn’t trust. They start drilling holes under the highway with the idea that they can fill with expanding mortar which is fairly new engineering BUT the material and workers not available. Call Pat Bates 916-651-4036 shameful waste of taxpayers money

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