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LAGUNA BEACH : Laguna Canyon Road Alternatives Released

August 07, 1993|JEFFREY A. PERLMAN

After years of controversy, Orange County officials on Friday released 11 design alternatives for improving Laguna Canyon Road, two of which will be the focus of a public workshop this morning.

The alternatives, which range from minor safety enhancements to rerouting a major section of the heavily traveled highway, were developed by the Laguna Canyon Road Consensus Committee.

A report with diagrams describing the proposed changes will be presented at the workshop, followed by a question-and-answer period, said Kari Rigoni, senior planner with the county's Environmental Management Agency.

The public workshop will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

Meeting mostly behind closed doors since August, 1992, the 19-member committee consisted of city and county officials and representatives from business and civic groups.

The committee recommended that two alternatives be studied further during the county's formal planning and environmental clearance process.

The first plan, known as Alternative 4A, would leave Laguna Canyon Road in the same location, with minimal widening and no improvements to the lakes and wetlands.

The second proposal, termed Alternative 11B, would realign the road west of the lakes, restore the connection between the two lakes and portions of Laguna Canyon Creek, and add two wildlife crossings.

No cost estimate was available Friday for either plan.

County and California Department of Transportation officials have attempted to widen the highway for years, only to be blocked by Laguna Beach officials and residents who want to preserve the road's rural character.

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