California City approves Avenida La Pata extension environmental plan

The San Clemente city council has approved the environmental plan for the construction of the Avenida La Pata Extension between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano in Orange county, California, US. The county is the lead agency on the project, which includes a 3.7-mile extension of Avenida La Pata road from Calle Saluda in San Clemente to La Pata Avenue south of Ortega Highway in San Juan Capistrano.

The project also includes a 1,700-foot extension of Camino del Rio between San Clemente’s Forster Ranch community and La Pata.The approval of the environmental report will allow the county to move forward with the design of the connector, acquire right of way, pursue funding and secure regulatory agencies’ permits.

The county has put the total cost of the project at $81.5 million, which includes $71 million for construction and $10.5 million for planning, processing of permits, right-of-way acquisition and other costs.The county has already received about $38 million for the project and the San Clemente city and Orange County will team up to secure the remaining $43 million from the federal government and the state.

If the funding is available, construction could commence in 2013 and be completed by the scheduled deadline of 2015.Upon completion, La Pata connector will be four-laned, with a fifth lane added from Ortega Highway to Prima Deshecha Landfill in the future, and is estimated to handle 13,000 vehicle trips each day.