73 Freeway Closure for “Hangover Part III” Raises Ire

The Corona del Mar Freeway, a crucial connector in Orange County, is closing for the filming of "The Hangover Part III"

Transportation and film authorities are coming under fire for a plan to close State Route 73 over the weekend for the filming of third installment of the raunchy film series "The Hangover."

Many didn't know that the Orange County closure, which begins 5 a.m. Saturday, was permitted for film work, and that's raised some eyebrows.

Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer is one of several elected officials that are unhappy with how the closure has been handled. He called it "outrageous."

"I just don't see the national security on keeping a secret from us on where Hangover III is going to be filmed," he said.

Leo Delati, who lives in the area of the roadway -- which is also known as the Corona del Mar Freeway and connects Irvine and Newport Beach to the San Diego (405) Freeway -- said his neighbors assumed the closure was for construction work.

"The second they found out it was for 'The Hangover,' everybody was up in arms," he said.

But Orange County Film Commissioner Janice Arrington defended the handling of the closure, which is expected to dump heavy traffic onto area surface streets.


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"We did not say it was for road work. We kept it confidential as permit work, just so that we could keep the project more controlled," Arrington said.

The two-day filming will be the first ever in Orange County entailing full freeway closures.  Arrington sees this as a milestone and an economic plus for the region, noting  that both Gov. Brown and previous Gov. Schwarzenegger have both supported efforts to encourage filming in California, and discourage "runaway production" to other states or nations.  

Arrington said the commission is working with Caltrans, the CHP, and the city governments of Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Newport  Beach  to reduce the impact on local communities.
Caltrans announced the work (PDF) earlier this month, saying the closure was needed for "permit work."

Doing the work on the weekend minimizes the effect on commuters.  But Righeimer worrries that some shops and restaurants might see a temporary drop in business.

A Caltrans spokeswoman, Gloria Roberts,  noted that the 405 Freeway will remain open and multiple detours and local streets will be avaiable for drivers to get around the area.

The southbound 73 will be closed from the 405 to the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A portion stretching from the 55 to Jamboree Road will be closed from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The northbound 73 will be closed on a 1-mile segment from Jamboree Road to Campus Drive from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The sections of the 73 that will close are not part of the 73 toll road, which starts farther south.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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