Introducing KTLA’s New Food Show “California Cooking With Jessica Holmes”; Check It Out Here

Caltrans Estimates It’ll Be Another 3 Weeks Before Ortega Highway Can Reopen

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The storm damaged Ortega Highway connecting Riverside and Orange counties will remain closed for about another three weeks, Caltrans stated Tuesday after conducting a series of new tests on the roadway.

Repair work was taking place at storm-damaged Ortega Highway in Orange County on Jan. 26, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Repair work was taking place at storm-damaged Ortega Highway in Orange County on Jan. 26, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

The highway, also known as State Route 74, has been closed since Jan. 25 when the roadway became unstable and began to crack near post mile 5.5 following a series of rain storms, Caltrans stated in a news release.

Caltrans recently brought in a specialized drilling machine and found the soil and roadway materials have become unstable up to 30 feet under the pavement and are not strong enough to support the road.

Officials determined that, weather permitting, the damaged roadway could be fully restored in about three weeks, according to the Tuesday’s news release.

Due to the severity of the storm damage there is no through traffic.

The eastbound highway is closed just east of Antonio Parkway/La Pata Avenue near Cristianitos Road, east of San Juan Capistrano; westbound traffic is blocked at Nichols Institute Road.

The closure area is now about 5 miles long; down from more than 25 miles when the road was closed all the way to Lake Elsinore.