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La Paz Bridge Rehabilitation and Roadway Widening Project beginning early January will provide numerous safety, traffic and aesthetic improvements

la paz bridge

Work on the La Paz Bridge Rehabilitation and Roadway Widening Project begins early January to relieve traffic congestion, improve safety, bring the 1960 bridges up to current structural standards and to enhance the aesthetics of the City's original entrance.

A long time in the making and tied to OCTA’s I-5 widening project, the project will widen the stretch of La Paz Road between Muirlands and Chrisanta from four to six lanes to eliminate the traffic chokepoint and provide safety enhancements to the bridges that were built six decades ago.

To minimize the project’s impact on the community, the work will be phased with construction zones established behind barriers to maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction during most of the project. Daytime lane closures, when necessary, will be limited to off-peak hours between 9 am and 3 pm. Some full closures will take place but at night to lessen impacts.

During the first week of January, the initial phase of work will entail clearing and tree removals. Most of the trees that will be removed are Eucalyptus, which are due for removal because of their condition. Some trees will be relocated to other areas of the City.

Heavy construction will ramp up mid-February and continue for about a year. The goal is to complete the work in conjunction with the neighboring I-5 widening and interchange improvements.

The project will be funded mostly with federal grants, Measure M2 and gas tax funds. For project updates, visit cityofmissionviejo.org and the City’s social media sites.

Planting Plans:

(1) Plans La Paz Bridge

(2) Plans La Paz Bridge

La Paz completion southeast corner Muirlands

La Paz completion southeast corner Muirlands

La Paz completion southerly parkway

 La Paz completion southerly parkway

La Paz completion at Chrisanta

La Paz completion at Chrisanta 

La Paz completion at Muirlands

 La Paz completion at Muirlands

La Paz completion view from MVHS

La Paz completion view from MVHS 

La Paz completion southwest corner Chrisanta

La Paz completion southwest corner Chrisanta 

La Paz completion northwest corner Chrisanta

 La Paz completion northwest corner Chrisanta

La Paz completion northeast corner Muirlands

La Paz completion northeast corner Muirlands 

La Paz overview existing

La Paz overview existing 

La Paz overview at completion

La Paz overview at completion 

Comments

Submitted by Steve Loughran on Fri, 12/16/2022 - 3:44 am

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Once again, an "improvement" neglects cyclists and makes this crossing of the 5 freeway more dangerous. I have written about this before and gone to the OCTA meetings to discuss. There appears to be no bike lane under the freeway, IN THE DARK so you have made this more hazardous for us. I did speak with the engineers as well, prior to starting this project. So, to me this is bad news.

Submitted by Susan Scott on Fri, 12/16/2022 - 6:38 am

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Hello - is there a concept drawing available to the public? I’d sure like to know how that’s going to look. Thank you!

Submitted by margo kutner on Fri, 12/16/2022 - 4:20 pm

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When the gas station that used to be on the NE corner of La Paz and
Muirlands was removed, that was the time to have put in a right hand turn lane to north bound Muirlands. I don't know if it was the Planning Commission and/or the City Council or whoever missed the opportunity for an obviously needed right hand turn lane. Instead, a building was approved and constructed that destroyed any opportunity to make an improved roadway at that time. Reading the prior comment regarding no safe bike lane, I'm not confident that whatever is planned has addressed all of the best ways of improving the roadway.

Submitted by City Staff on Fri, 12/16/2022 - 4:36 pm

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Thank you for your comments on the News page. La Paz Road between Muirlands and Chrisanta currently has bike lanes except on the bridges and at the right turn lanes at each end. The completed project will add bike lanes with traffic buffers on the bridges. Unfortunately, there is not sufficient width to add bike lanes at the right turn lanes due to the constraints of existing features. The OCTA project includes the widening of La Paz Road under I-5 between Muirlands and Cabot. That project will add bike lanes to that segment of La Paz Road.

Submitted by Kevin Messenger on Sat, 12/17/2022 - 11:39 am

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People check out youtube channel “not just bikes”. He explains how widening road’s actually makes the problem worse. We need to encourage mass transit use and better bike lanes to reduce road demand not widen which seems to be all Orange County knows. Our tax dollars could be used elsewhere better for better busses trains subways and trolleys everywhere.

Submitted by Jan Oldfield on Sat, 12/17/2022 - 1:19 pm

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IS ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE AS ANGRY ABOUT THIS AS I AM? The quality of life in our beautiful little bedroom community is being destroyed due to reckless planning and greed. Who decided it was a good idea to build high density housing in RSM, Ladera Ranch, Coto, Dove Canyon and now Rancho Mission Viejo and run all of this traffic through Mission Viejo! Why weren't alternate means of freeway access mandated and implemented BEFORE building massive numbers new of homes?

Submitted by Mary Thompson on Thu, 12/22/2022 - 6:14 pm

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A few years ago they redid the freeway on ramp on La Paz road and Muirlands. So now doing it again spending more money. What a waste.

Submitted by Mark Roberts on Thu, 12/22/2022 - 7:24 pm

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I’m fearful that this widening project will entail removal of the trees in the center of LaPaz. The same ones that are wrapped in Christmas lights each year. Too bad the city isn’t more transparent about what the actual plans are for this project. Makes me wonder if it’s deliberate to avoid the public outcry? Why else would they not show the renderings or plans?

Submitted by James M. on Thu, 12/22/2022 - 8:18 pm

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Will the city look at adjusting the intersection lights to assist with the back up from this new construction?
I deal with the traffic back up now from the freeway on-ramp being brought to 1 lane now. I’m there at 6:30 a.m. and cars back up to Chrisanta already do to the lights not flowing with traffic and everyone having to get in the right lane. (Just look at your intersection cameras). Now this new project makes me think it’s going to get worse…please help us get onto the freeway.

Submitted by Kris on Fri, 12/23/2022 - 4:33 am

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This doesn't pertain to the issue at hand but I have long wanted to ask the developers of this "planned community," "Was it part of a reasonable plan to have 3 schools--2 middle schools & a high school--emptying onto La Paz Rd. in less than 3 miles of roadway?

Submitted by HARRIETTE WATSON on Fri, 12/23/2022 - 6:18 am

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What is happening on los Alisos? Will there be an entrance and exit to the freeway? How much longer until it is completed?

Submitted by City Staff on Fri, 12/23/2022 - 10:48 am

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Thank you for your comment on the News page and interest in the City’s iconic trees on La Paz. The “La Paz Overview Existing” aerial image above depicts the current scope of the area and the “La Paz Overview at Completion” is the same image with a graphic overlay rendering of what the completed project will entail. All the renderings on file can be viewed above, along with two pages of the Planting Plan which may be viewed through the PDF links just below the article. As shown here, the mature jacaranda trees remain in the median at project completion. The Planting Plan pages depict that jacaranda and other trees are being added in the parkways to complement the jacarandas in the median. The median is not moving and will remain in place as the widening will take place on the outsides of the roadway only. With the exception of some new groundcover landscaping around and between the raised tree planters on the west end of the median, all median landscaping – including the trees – will be protected in place. If you want to view more pages of the Street-Improvement plans or have any other questions, contact the City’s Public Works at publicworks@cityofmissionviejo.org.

Submitted by City Staff on Fri, 12/23/2022 - 11:30 am

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Thank you for your comment on the News page. Most of the work for this project will take place behind k-rail barriers in established construction zones which maintain two lanes of traffic in each direction. Some lane closures will be necessary for safety, however they will be limited to off-peak hours (9 am to 3 pm).

The City's Public Works will certainly be monitoring traffic during the project and adjusting signals as necessary. Although Caltrans controls the signal at La Paz and Muirlands, the City's Public Works will coordinate with them to optimize signal timing adjustments for traffic flow and minimize traffic delays during construction. If you have any questions, contact the City’s Public Works at publicworks@cityofmissionviejo.org.

Submitted by Janet on Sun, 12/25/2022 - 1:00 pm

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I, for one, am GLAD they are finally widening the street. I have lived here over 25 years and there is so much congestion at the 2 intersections it takes forever to to make a turn onto La Paz. Idiots blocking traffic trying to turn onto La Paz from the high school, no one can turn right from Chrisanta. Kids crossing take their sweet time when only 2 seconds flashing on the cross signal. Traffic is backed up past the bank entrance so you can't make a left turn if you had to.
I think there should not be U-Turn ability either. Half the time people don't know their vehicle well enough to make the turn and end up causing the left turn signal to go red before the next person can turn.
I am all for the widening!! Hurray!

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