The County of Orange has conducted preliminary alignment and environmental studies for a proposed project that would extend the existing 1.8-mile portion of La Pata Avenue south of Ortega Highway, outside the City of San Juan Capistrano, roughly two miles to connect with La Pata Avenue in San Clemente at Calle Saluda.
The project would close the "gap" between the two roadway segments, providing an essential link in the local roadway network. The proposed project also includes the Camino Del Rio quarter-mile extension to the future La Pata Avenue from where it ends, just east of Camino De Los Mares. Both plans are proposed as four-lane roadways. The proposed project will traverse parts of San Clemente, the unincorporated areas of the County and is also adjacent to San Juan Capistrano.
La Pata Avenue Gap Closure's northern point of study starts just south of Ortega Highway at its intersection with Antonio Parkway and La Pata Avenue. From this point, La Pata Avenue currently continues south as an existing three lane paved roadway through unincorporated territory, just east of the City of San Juan Capistrano. The County is proposing to add two new lanes to this section of roadway for a total of five lanes (including a climbing lane for vehicles bound for the landfill site).This roughly 1.8-mile existing section of La Pata Avenue ends at the County's Prima Deshecha Landfill site. From that point, a new four-lane La Pata Avenue would extend south just east of the existing Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric power-line corridor.
The proposed project remains east of the power-line facilities as currently shown on the Master Plan of Arterial Highways (MPAH) as it enters San Clemente's northern City limits. As the proposed project nears the Talega residential development, the roadway curves west away from the Talega development as it crosses the power-line corridor. The proposed project maintains a minimum of 350 feet from the nearest residential property to La Pata Avenue. Preliminary engineering cross sections are shown herein for two representative locations to demonstrate the relative location of the roadway to two existing homes in Talega. The proposed roadway is in a cut section and not visible from the homes. The proposed roadway is either blocked by intervening topography or proposed earth berms. Shortly after it crosses the power-line corridor, it turns south to connect with existing La Pata Avenue at Calle Saluda in San Clemente. The proposed improvements provide access to Avenida Vista Hermosa, Avenida Pico and Ortega Highway. All trail connections will be maintained. As a result of the scoping process, a proposed alignment variation is also being reviewed. The proposed alignment variation moves a portion of the project alignment nearest the Talega community further west. The Camino Del Rio extension starts at the east end of existing Camino Del Rio in the Forster Ranch development in San Clemente. The proposed four lane road would extend east for about 0.25 miles to connect with the future La Pata Avenue at a signalized intersection.