15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps
Patch Instagram photo by apennyforyourwraps

Residents Burned By Sound Walls Stress Over I-5 Project

Three phases of an I-5 carpool lane and interchange project planned for North San Clemente raise hackles among some residents in the south end of town.

Residents Burned By Sound Walls Stress Over I-5 Project Residents Burned By Sound Walls Stress Over I-5 Project

South San Clemente residents who say have the same fears about a freeway widening and interchange project in the north end of town.

Representatives from the Orange County Transportation Authority Tuesday presented the council with a project report on big I-5 carpool lane additions and the upcoming that comprise roughly $200 million worth of investment in the freeway.

The first project consists of improving the I-5/Avenida Pico interchange, which is expected to break ground in 2014. The two other phases of the project include adding carpool lanes from where they currently end in San Juan Capistrano all the way down to the Pico exit, according to the OCTA's Hamid Torkamanha.

The south San Clemente residents expressed concern with regards to the five sound walls connected with the project. Four already exist and will be moved back as far as necessary to widen the road bed, but the fifth will be a new wall that runs through the Shorecliffs community, Torkamanha said.

Don Krall, owner of the Little Inn by the Beach, said the increased noise and blocked views from the south San Clemente sound wall were costing his business as much as $1 million per year.

"I really don't want to see anyone get hurt by a wall that no one had a say on," he told the council. "This wall invaded my business."

Julie Toledo, a spokeswoman for the OCTA, responded by saying that  to inform them of the project plans.

San Clemente City Council directed staff to reach out to residents in the city to augment the OCTA's efforts. The project will be further discussed at the council meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 21 in council chambers, 100 Ave. Presidio.

Correction: Because of a reporting error, the date of ground-breaking on the Pico interchange phase of the OCTA project was misstated in an earlier version of this article. Patch regrets the error.

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