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Residents Sound Off on Soundwall, OCTA Changes Freeway Project

The $275 million soundwall and carpool lane project is scheduled to be completed by late 2016.

The county's three-part project to extend carpool lanes, freeway soundwalls and the Avenida Pico Interchange will see a few modifications. Out of the five existing soundwalls, four will be pushed 15 feet out, and an additional soundwall will be built, OCTA officials explained at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Several frustrated residents voiced their thoughts about the OCTA soundwall project.

“The sound bounces off the wall from the freeway when trucks downgear through our neighborhood,” said Frontera resident Ben Villa. “I never saw anybody do sound tests in my neighborhood.”

OCTA sent 800 notices to the public, visited 300 homes and held 6 neighborhood meetings for San Clemente residents, said Orange County Transportation Authority’s Hamid Torkamanha.

 “There will be four general purpose lanes plus an HOV lane to provide continuous access,” said Torkamanha.

The first segment of the project extends the carpool lane from south Avenida Pico to Vista Hermosa and also includes the construction of the Pico interchange. It is scheduled to begin construction mid 2014 and to last through late 2016.

The second and third segments will begin construction in late 2013 and will extend the carpool lanes through San Juan Creek Road. The $275 million project is being funded by Measure M, the half-cent sales tax approved by Orange County voters, according to OCTA.

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