73 closure for 'Hangover 3' filming spurs controversy


The "wolf pack" is hitting the road again, but the timing of the journey is not getting rave reviews from some people.

"I think the movie is great, and actually, the fact that there's jobs involved, that's a real positive. The issue is having the time to notify the businesses and make accommodations for local business in this process," said Costa Mesa Councilman Steve Mensinger.

Mensinger says he found out about the movie shoot a couple of weeks ago. But Caltrans insists those involved have been working with Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Irvine since July to coordinate the closure. The agency has a policy of accommodating movie shoots and the jobs they bring to California.

"The studio has actually been involved in all of our traffic meetings with the locally affected cities," said Caltrans spokesman Gloria Roberts.

Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer says he has nothing against the "Hangover" movies, but he would be more supportive if the filmmakers gave the city something in return.

Permits have been granted to close southbound lanes from the San Diego (405) Freeway south to the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway from 5 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to Caltrans.

On Sunday, southbound lanes will be closed once again from the 55 Freeway interchange to Jamboree Road from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Bristol Street, which is a frontage road there, is the posted detour.

Northbound lanes will be closed from Jamboree Road to Campus Drive -- a one-mile segment -- from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and again from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

The closed sections of freeway are not a part of the toll road section of the state Route 73 and are under Caltrans jurisdiction. In an agreement, Warner Bros. is paying the Transportation Corridor Agency a $20,000 location fee, and potentially more than $25,000 to offset the loss of tolls.

Several area businesses said they had not heard about the closure, but said they weren't too worried.

"It won't hurt my business," said restaurant owner Ray Casso. "There's a million side streets around here."

City News Service contributed to this report.

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