Get Ready for Traffic Switching on I-5 in San Clemente

Say goodbye to the old bridge and hello to the new one over Avenida Pico in San Clemente.

The old structure will fall and a new one will rise during the reconstruction of the I-5/Avenida Pico interchange, part of a $230 million, 5.7-mile project to extend the carpool lanes from San Juan Capistrano to San Clemente.

In anticipation of the new construction, northbound traffic on I-5 must be shifted to the new first half of the Pico bridge and recently constructed lanes. That shift is scheduled to take place over 14 hours beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Avoid the area if possible from 6 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 5, when traffic volume is expected to be at its highest.

Following the traffic shift, crews will demolish the remainder of the old Pico bridge. That work is expected to begin in mid-November and take five nights, followed by some daytime work behind temporary concrete barriers. The bridge demolition requires closing Avenida Pico, which can only be done at night. Avenida Pico will be open during the day. Freeway lanes will be unaffected by the bridge demolition.

Once the old bridge has been removed, pile driving will begin for the foundation of the new portion of the bridge. The pile driving is expected to take up to three weeks and will be performed during the day. Motorists should expect some lane closures on Pico, but at least one lane will be open in each direction at all times.

Find out more about the project and sign up for weekly construction alerts at

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