Rock netting project continues on Ortega Highway

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Work is continuing on a project to install rock netting along some portions of the Ortega Highway between Lake Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano, a Caltrans representative said.

The Ortega, which twists through rugged terrain in the Santa Ana Mountains, was closed in both directions during two days in early February to allow the installation of netting by crane to gard against rocks from falling onto the roadway, Caltrans spokeperson Terri Kasinga said at the time.

Though those full closures happened months ago, Caltrans spokesperson Philip Havins said on June 26 that there are some locations where crews are still trying to install netting, necessitating one-way traffic control at times.

“There’s a couple locations they’re still working at, and no estimate (on when they will be done) because of the complexity of the work,” Havins said, explaining that the terrain in the area is a complicating factor.

“They’re still going strong, but because of the nature of the work, it’s not easy because of the landscape and obviously they’re working on a sheer slope,” Havins said.

The spokesperson said typical lane closures typically occur between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. — outside of normal commuting hours. Havins said routine closures are captured on Caltrans’ Quickmap site, http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/, which includes information on wait times and queue lengths. For any closures that may need to be implemented during commuting hours, Havins said Caltrans will put out an alert.

“It’s pretty mild at this point because it’s a consistent type of work,” Havins said. “Anything that goes outside of (routine closures), we will communicate it.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.