Guest Opinion: The Bartlett Bulletin: La Pata Avenue Extension Project: Connecting Communities from the Canyons to the Coast

By Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Supervisor 5th District

The La Pata Avenue Extension Project is the most significant county roadway improvement remaining in South Orange County. This $126.5 million project will provide a critical link between the communities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. Commuters traveling this route should expect a 20 to 30 minute reduction in their travel time after all improvements are completed. In addition, this project provides distinct benefits to Orange County residents, including:

  • Improved public safety—redundancy to Interstate 5 for emergency vehicles
  • Enhanced air quality—reduction of congestion
  • Enriched economy—faster transport of goods and services, north-south connector

There are three phases to this project:

  • Gap connector (currently underway)
  • Widening of the existing La Pata stretch from Ortega Highway to just south of Stallion Ridge
  • Extension of Camino Del Rio

The first phase of the project, the gap connector, is on schedule to be completed this month, just in time for the school year to begin.

The remaining two phases are scheduled to begin this fall.

This project has been years in the making and is the result of the collaboration of many stakeholders, including the city of San Clemente, city of San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Mission Viejo and Orange County Transportation Authority, as well as others who have worked very hard to ensure the vision of this project came to fruition.

I am excited to be part of this project and look forward to continuing to improve mobility, air quality, public safety and access to thousands of businesses through collaborative projects like the La Pata Avenue Extension Project within Orange County and the region at large.

For more information, please visit my website at

Lisa Bartlett currently serves as the chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors.

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