South Orange County drivers and nearby residents should plan for detours and be aware of possible delays from a scheduled 55-hour closure of northbound freeway ramps at Avery Parkway and Interstate 5 beginning Friday night as part of the I-5 South Improvement Project (SR-73 to El Toro Road).
Beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 through approximately 5 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23, crews will close the freeway on-ramp and off-ramp to northbound I-5 traffic at Avery Parkway. The southbound ramps to and from the I-5 freeway at Avery will remain open, as will one lane in each direction of Avery, between Camino Capistrano and Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel.
Drivers on northbound I-5 that want to access Avery Parkway can exit at northbound Junipero Serra Road or northbound
Crown Valley Parkway instead during the closure.
Drivers that would use Avery Parkway to access northbound I-5 can instead use the Crown Valley Parkway loop on-ramp or direct on-ramp as detour options to access I-5 heading north.
The ramp construction will not affect businesses in the Avery Parkway area, including local car dealerships, which are scheduled to remain open during normal operating hours over the weekend.
The ramp closures mark the beginning of work on the re-construction of the Avery Parkway interchange, which will be widened to nearly double the capacity of vehicles it can accommodate, helping ease the flow of traffic in the area.
Overall, the I-5 South Improvement Project, which began in 2019, is widening the freeway between SR-73 and El Toro Road. The $595 million project through Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano, will add a regular lane in each direction and extend a second carpool lane between Alicia Parkway and El Toro Road.
The 6.5-mile stretch of the freeway is heavily traveled by 360,000 drivers each day. Funding for the project comes from Measure M, the local half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, also known as OC Go.
The improvements are being built in three segments and are expected to be finished in 2025.