Ortega Hwy improvements?

Well, not in my book.
According to CalTrans, the particular section of road is just a bit to curvilinear

The project area is the most curvilinear portion of SR-74. Existing non-standard roadway features include narrow lane widths, absent or narrow shoulders, and limited sight distances. Standard lane widths and the addition of shoulders would provide added maneuvering areas on the curvilinear portion of the highway.

This essentially means they think the road is too dangerous (which it really is) and they are going to do something about it (which they really should). It’s just too bad that they have decided to fix the best part of the road! Of well.

Also from CalTrans:

SR-74 was constructed in the 1930’s for recreational purposes, primarily to provide access to beaches in Orange County and Lake Elsinore, hot springs, camps and resorts, mountain streams, hiking, fishing and hunting within the Cleveland National Forest. At its peak summers usage in the early 1930’s, SR-74 carried about 200 vehicles per day. Today, with the growth of local urban centers, it carries an increasing amount of commuters and truck traffic between Orange and Riverside counties. According to 2003 Traffic Accident Surveillance and Analysis System (TASAS) data, it supports an annual average daily traffic (AADT) of 8900 vehicles per day, and traffic is expected to grow fourfold over the next twenty-five years.

Yes, I did read all 15 pages.

But wait, there is still hope! Some have decided to try and fight the system on this. They even have a website! http://www.saveortegahwy.org/. They had a meeting today, but I missed it.

For those of you in OC that enjoy running the prision road, this will affect you too, mostly because while this project is going, you won’t be able to get to it unless you drive around! ugh.

CalTrans Plan||Entire Hwy. 74 Plan

3 replies on “Ortega Hwy improvements?”

  1. I have been driving the highway five days a week for nine years. I belive that this has to be the dumbest idea that Caltrans has ever come up with. I was riding it win they did this to the Elsinore side. What they did was to increase the overal speed and the cornering speeds. Now we have more accidentsthen ever before. Also the drainage is worse[much more water accrose the road ] We also have more slides then before. They want to close the road to do all this[for 2or3 years] so that we will have to use the over worked Hwy91 and by the time they reopen it. it will be totaly overloaded. Because they are not going to make it four lanes wide. they are just going to make it wide enough to make people think they are safe.

    P.S. Here is your sign

  2. I hear ya. I’ve been driving Ortega Hwy 5 or 6 days a week since ’96. I remember when they did the Elsinore side and all it did was make me late for work. Keep in mind back then there was FAR less truck traffic on the road than there is now. And, it’s the big trucks on the OC side that are really f’ing things up IMHO.

    From the OC line to the bridge is way to tight and narrow for the double gravel trailer pulling rigs that are now using this road. And, for the last I don’t remember how long, almost every accident on that road (That I can remember) has happened in the section they are going to be working on. I can’t remember the last time I saw an accident on the Elsinore side.

    I’ve read through most of the CalTrans docs. They aren’t completely closing the road during commute hours Mon-Friday, but the delays will still be pretty bad I can imagine.

    Still, if I have to pick between waiting 20-45 minutes on Ortega vs. 2-4 hours to drive into Orange County, I’ll take the wait.

  3. I have been driving this road for 5 years. I also remember when the Elsinore side was done. Yes there are a lot of accidents on this highway and I know of many on the Elsinore side as well as the O.C. side. For one think the big trucks travel much too fast coming down the Elsinore side. I feel sorry for the Business’s and the Camp ground that will all suffer if the road is closed for 2 to 3 years. Maybe they should think of building a whole new road through there instead of patching up the current road.

    I to will waite the 20 to 45 minutes instead of taking the 91 or Highway 76.

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