Work to Connect San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano could begin early in 2014
By Jim Shilander
The Orange County Board of Supervisors has named the contractor to finish Avenida La Pata, connecting San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.
The supervisors selected Sukut Construction, Inc. of Santa Ana, which bid $72.7 million for the project, $5 million below the county’s estimate. An initial round of bids was rejected by the supervisors last month due to irregularities between the three bids received.
The first phase of the project will close the gap between the two city’s Avenida La Pata in San Clemente and La Pata Avenue in San Juan Capistrano. It will include four lanes and stretch from the current terminus points at Calle Saluda to the Prima Descecha landfill.
The project’s second portion will widen La Pata Avenue from three to five lanes, from approximately 750 feet south of Ortega Highway in the unincorporated county area to the existing San Juan ending at the county’s Prima Deshecha Landfill. The final phase of construction will widen Camino Del Rio to four lanes from its current terminus in San Clemente to La Pata.
The county expects to break ground on the project in March 2014.
San Clemente City Councilwoman Lori Donchak, who also serves on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority said the project was a significant one for the city.
“This is a big milestone,” Donchak wrote in an email. “It takes a lot of effort and talents to get a project of this size to actually happen. OC project manager Harry Persaud gets the lion’s share of credit for finding the money and persevering against all odds. He and County Supervisor Pat Bates never lost focus. I am so pleased San Clemente will finally have a backdoor and improved travel paths.”
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