Caltrans Culvert Replacement Project

Project Goals

Caltrans is replacing the deteriorated portion of a 100-year-old box culvert under Coast Highway, just south of Broadway, from April 1 to the end of May. Learn more about the project from this presentation Caltrans gave to City Council in July 2020. The project is intended to be completed before summer 2021.

Traffic Impacts

Expect significant traffic impacts throughout the project. To help drivers avoid the construction area, traffic control personnel will be located at many downtown intersections.

How to Avoid the Traffic

Plan an alternate route that avoids Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.  

Project Location



 Businesses will Remain Open!

Access to businesses will remain open during construction, except for one of the driveways to the Village Mart gas station. Caltrans is coordinating with the gas station and other impacted businesses along Coast Highway.







Why is this Project Necessary?

The box culvert that runs underneath Coast Highway at Main Beach carries stormwater from the Downtown area and is necessary to protect Downtown properties from flooding. The culvert is now 100 years old, and the concrete inside the culvert is crumbling, exposing corroded rebar. To ensure the stability of the culvert and for the safety of drivers using Coast Highway, the culvert must be replaced as soon as possible.


Project Schedule

During Construction
March 31 – May 28, 2021

Construction work begins April 1, and will be done in two phases and Caltrans crews will be working double shifts as needed to finish by Memorial Day. During construction, traffic will be limited to one lane in each direction. Downtown traffic control will be provided by the City of Laguna Beach and Caltrans seven days a week to help mitigate traffic impacts due to the long-term lane closures needed to complete the work safely and quickly. Parking on Coast Highway between Broadway and Ocean will be restricted and traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction for the duration of construction. Adjacent businesses will be open during construction.

Caltrans appreciates the public’s patience while we perform this work. Signage will be posted to notify drivers of the closure. This work schedule is subject to change due to traffic incidents, weather, availability of equipment and/or materials, and/or construction-related issues. 

Phase 2 Construction Activities
  • May 4-13: Set Precast boxes and build transition cast in-place box
  • May 19 & May 20: Overnight road closure 8 p.m.- 5 a.m.
  • May 14-22: Backfill and pave roadway
  • May 22: Overnight road closure 8 p.m.- 8 a.m., stripe roadway
  • May 27: Overnight road closure 8 p.m.- 5 a.m., install traffic loop detectors

How We Are Keeping You Updated Throughout the Project

There will be a significant impact to traffic during the project. Caltrans and the City of Laguna Beach have launched a major communications campaign with the following goals to ensure residents, visitors, and commuters are aware of the project and its impact on traffic; to encourage commuters to seek alternate routes; to educate travelers about where they can get information about the project; and inform the public that businesses are open during construction.

 Stay Informed About Project Impacts
  • Subscribe to the City's weekly newsletter by texting 92651 to 888-777
  • Subscribe to traffic alerts for this project by texting LBTRAFFIC to 888-777
  • Follow us on social media @lagunabeachgov on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

For questions about this project, contact Darcy BirdenCaltransPublic Affairs Information Officer, (657) 328-6000.

Additional Project Information

Agenda Bill presented to Laguna Beach City Council July 28, 2020

Caltrans presentation to City Council on July 28, 2020