Company:
OC Public Works
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Project of the Year
Additional Files
Additional Information

This project reduces South Orange County freeway congestion and improves regional mobility by providing a north-south alternative (to Interstate 5) between San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and neighboring communities.

La Pata Extension Project

Project Location:

La Pata Avenue/Avenida La Pata, from Ortega Highway to Calle Saluda; in the cities of San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, and unincorporated Orange County.

Project Description:

As the largest roadway project in the County of Orange history, the La Pata Extension Project “connects the gap” by delivering a critical link for the arterial highway network in South Orange County.  The new regional corridor provides a daily alternative to the heavily-congested Interstate 5 Freeway for thousands of drivers every day.  The project extends the road two miles, through the Prima Deshecha Landfill, in order to connect the communities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.  The project widens an existing 1.8 mile portion of La Pata Avenue in San Juan Capistrano, and will also extend San Clemente’s Camino del Rio approximately one-quarter mile to join the new La Pata Avenue. These changes significantly increase mobility options in South Orange County.

Project Justification:

The La Pata Extension project included the following unique features and project work:
• constructing the new roadway and bridge overcrossing interchange through the main entrance of the County’s Prima Deschecha Landfill, while also maintaining daily landfill operations
• installing five 30-foot diameter undercrossings
• building a bridge overcrossing for utility easement access, regional trail linkage, and wildlife crossing
• widening an existing section of roadway while also keeping the road open to traffic
• maintaining access to: the Prima Deshecha Landfill, local residences and the adjacent high school, and through traffic on the new roadway extension
Unique project work also included:
• approximately 15 million cubic yards of earthwork, which resulted in several archaeological finds
• stabilization of landslides and adverse geology
• removing and relocating more than 850,000 cubic yards of municipal solid waste, and constructing clean closure cover over waste remaining in place
• phased grading for the relocation of electrical transmission towers and poles
• installation of storm drains and deep cover culverts ranging up to 108 inches in diameter
• maintaining constant communication with stake holders and impacted communities
• implementing environmental mitigation measures
• installing six multi-purpose drainage basins for water quality, hydromodification, and detention to meet County and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements      

Special Circumstances:

The project is the largest single infrastructure project that Orange County (OC) Public Works has constructed.  The La Pata Extension Project “connects the gap” in South Orange County by completing a critical link for the arterial highway network. 
Obstacles overcome:
• archaeological finds ranging from 3-11 million years old did not delay construction
• stabilization of landslides and adverse geology
• removing and relocating more than 850,000 cubic yards of municipal solid waste meant extra measures were taken to control odor and address community concerns
• coordination of utility relocations during construction

Project Attachments:

    The ribbon cutting ceremony was a fantastic event for the community; the La Pata Avenue Extension was the guest of honor.  See article: http://ocplanning.net/civicax/inc/blobfetch.aspx?BlobID=56606  
    As the largest single Orange County Public Works infrastructure project, the La Pata Extension project increases regional mobility in south Orange County by providing improved access between San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and neighboring communities for thousands of drivers daily. The new roadway directly connects people with retail centers, medical facilities, schools, recreational opportunities, emergency evacuation routes, the County’s Prima Deshecha Landfill, and more. During construction, regional trails were maintained and a new multi-purpose trail was built alongside the new highway. The project also cuts commute times to residents in the area by 20 minutes, reducing freeway congestion and emissions, while also providing a north-south alternative to Interstate 5 between the two cities. 
      The following content reflects the multiple impacts the complete La Pata Extension Project has on the local community.  The environment and quality of life are also positively impacted by the project; shorter commutes reduce gas emissions, increase recreational opportunities, and support an improvement in the quality of life for residents and visitors.
      See article:  http://ocplanning.net/planning/land_dev/projects/lapata The OC Public Works web page featuring the La Pata Avenue/Camino Del Rio Extension.  Click on the map for a larger graphic.  As a direct opportunity to keep the community informed, readers have the option to sign up for email updates, and/or read the updates posted on the website.
      See article:  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/san-725668-clemente-county.html Please note the August 13, 2016 main article and related photographs, timeline (Long and Winding Road) located on the left column, and the testimonials found under “What will La Pata mean to you?”
      See article:  http://www.roadsbridges.com/no-2-road-digging-your-way-out La Pata Extension is named the second most significant project in North America by Roads and Bridges Magazine, October 2016. The selection of the top ten road projects is based upon project challenges, impact to region, and scope of work. 
      See article:  http://www.roadsbridges.com/current-issue The significance of La Pata Extension is further noted when the project is the featured cover image, for the October 2016 issue, of Roads and Bridges magazine. 
      See article:  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/county-637105-sample-landfill.html The October 2, 2014 article discussed the interesting fossils and refuse uncovered during construction.
      See article:  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fossils-651119-turtles-leatherback.html The February 12, 2015 article details the fossil finds uncovered during construction and showcases the leatherback sea turtle fossils.

Award Citation::

The La Pata Extension lengthens La Pata Avenue 2 miles, through the Prima Deshecha Landfill, and connects to the San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente communities. The project also widens an existing 1.8 mile portion of San Juan Capistrano’s La Pata Avenue, and extends Camino del Rio approximately 1/4 mile; the extension also provides a critical link for the arterial highway network.  This is the largest single Orange County Public Works infrastructure project the agency has constructed.

Suggested Award Summary:

    The La Pata Extension Project lengthens La Pata Avenue two miles, through the Prima Deshecha Landfill, and connects to the San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente communities. The project also widens an existing 1.8 mile portion of San Juan Capistrano’s La Pata Avenue, and extends Camino del Rio approximately one quarter mile to join the new La Pata Avenue.  These changes significantly increase mobility options in South Orange County while also providing a critical link for the arterial highway network.  Every day, thousands of drivers benefit from the gap that is now connected.
This is the largest single OC Public Works infrastructure project the agency has launched, and the enormity of the project is not just measured in miles or minutes. The new roadway and bridge overcrossing interchange was constructed through the main entrance of the County’s Prima Deschecha Landfill, while daily landfill operations were maintained; 15 million cubic yards of earthwork produced archaeological finds; more than 850,000 cubic yards of municipal solid waste was removed and relocated while constructing clean closure cover over the waste remaining in place; environmental mitigation measures were implemented; County and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requirements were met as six multi-purpose drainage basins were installed for water quality, hydromodification, and detention; storm drains and deep cover culverts up to 108 inches in diameter were installed; phased grading was executed for the relocation of electrical transmission towers and poles; stabilization of landslide and adverse geology; five 30-foot diameter undercrossings were installed; bridge overcrossings were built for utility easement access, regional trail linkage, and wildlife crossings; all of these project features and more were executed while the existing roadway was kept open to traffic.
    Every day, thousands of drivers benefit from the gap that has been connected in South Orange County. Commute times are significantly lower, environmental benefits and improved quality of life reach far and wide.

CEC

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