By Collin Breaux | Email: cbreaux@picketfencemedia.com | Twitter: @collin_breaux

The Del Obispo Street/Ortega Highway intersection will be renovated through details approved by the San Juan Capistrano City Council during a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The intersection is an entry point for downtown. The beautification efforts will complement Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, the new boutique hotel that opened in September by the northwest corner of the intersection.

The intersection at Del Obispo Street and Ortega Highway is getting spruced up under a plan enacted by city officials. Photo: Collin Breaux

The project will specifically focus on the city-owned southwest corner and a privately owned northeast corner. Renovations will include low-stone masonry walls, new plants and irrigation and drainage enhancements. A median with olive trees—a signature feature at the new hotel—will also be built.

“The northeast corner—we refer to this as the North Del Taco parcel—the city would control this privately owned parcel under a lease agreement for the purposes of installing and maintaining the proposed improvements,” Public Works Director Tom Toman said. “While (the southeast corner) is not included in the proposed project, the property owners of the Del Taco site have indicated they intend to match the planning materials at this location as part of the installation of a new Del Taco monument sign. Those improvements are expected to be implemented in 2021.”

Toman said the new corner designs will also allow for future art installations. A tile triptych representing Native Americans and local history has been placed at Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, and resident Rich Heimann has previously advocated for more public art displays.

The council created the gateway project in March.

Construction bids will be advertised in November, and a contract is expected to be awarded in January 2021. Corner construction could finish in spring 2021, and construction of the median would be concurrent, pending review by Caltrans

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