Location: Orange County, CA
Laguna Canyon Road is located in Upper Laguna Canyon, an environmentally sensitive area in Orange County, California. The existing roadway, which was originally designed to follow the base of the canyon, was subject to frequent flooding and suffered from daily peak period traffic congestion. The project scope entailed relocating the existing two-lane road from its original location at the bottom of the Laguna Canyon to the adjacent, less environmentally sensitive hillside. This provided an opportunity to blend the roadway into the existing terrain. The project included four miles of roadway realignment from south of I-405 to north of SR-73 in the City of Laguna Beach. The roadway was designed as two-lane travelways, which separated opposing traffic by means of a large natural vegetated median which varies from 30 feet wide to approximately 200 feet wide. The vertical alignment was elevated and storm water basins were designed to retain and treat storm water. The project also included construction of bioswales to treat roadway runoff and provide water quality benefits as a part of the project. The work effort included workshop meetings with representatives of Caltrans, the City of Laguna Beach, and the County of Orange which provided invaluable input on key project constraints and design objectives. A Citizens Oversight committee provided a workshop setting which gathered input on a variety of design considerations. It was established as an interactive program which allowed certain project elements to become incorporated into the project, thereby establishing ownership by the affected community.