Press Release Details

Environmental Process Continues for Proposed La Pata Gap Closure Project

SANTA ANA--Work leading to an environmental impact report (EIR) for a project that will widen a portion of La Pata Avenue continues with a Draft EIR expected this summer.

The La Pata Avenue Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension project is needed to ease traffic congestion and improve access to neighboring communities while ensuring minimal environmental impact on the area’s high quality of life. The County is preparing a Project Report and EIR for the proposed project that would extend and widen 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 project also includes the Camino del Rio quarter-mile extension to the future La Pata Avenue from where it ends today. Both highways are proposed as four-lane roadways.

County consultants are working on various technical studies and surveys such as biological resources, traffic, noise, air quality, cultural resources, water quality and geology.

The draft EIR is slated to be released for public review late summer, with another public meeting taking place at that time. A public scoping meeting attracting roughly 70 people was held December 2, 2009, after the County circulated the Notice of Preparation in November. The proposed project was also presented to the Talega Homeowners Association and City councils of City of San Juan Capistrano, City of Mission Viejo and City of Rancho Santa Margarita during December, 2009.

While measures will be proposed to address potential significant impacts on the environment, public participation is an essential component to ensuring all issues are addressed. Public comments submitted during the public review of the DEIR will be responded to in a Final EIR scheduled for certification this winter.

The public can stay informed through the County’s Web site by clicking on the La Pata Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension link here.

For more information, contact Project Manager Harry Persaud at
 714-834-2694 or e-mail  LaPataProject