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241 Toll Road Extension May Start This Year

Engineers are currently working on designs, permits and environmental documents for the project.

The first phase of the 241 Tollway 5.5 mile extension in south Orange County is currently under way, but construction won’t start until at least this summer, officials said Wednesday.  

According to Paul Bopp, the project’s engineering manager with the Transportation Corridor Agencies, the engineers are still completing preliminary designs for the extension, which will allow the TCA to more exactly estimate the costs of the project. Rough estimates put the total construction cost at $200 million.

The designs for the extension, Bopp stated, will include environmentally friendly features such as four wildlife crossings and improve water quality by filtering and treating run-off water.

City councilman Jim Evert praised the TCA for their efforts in creating projects with relatively light environmental footprints.

“The TCA is doing an outstanding job,” Evert stated. “They make the environment better in many cases.”

The project will be “one of the greenest roads ever constructed,” Bopp said.

The 241 Tollway currently ends at Oso Parkway where the TCA hopes to begin construction this summer. They must obtain a number of state permits and complete the environmental review process, which Bopp said is set to finish in June.

Some residents worry that further extensions of the 241 will stop at Avenida Pico, leading to gridlock in the city, but Evert said that was unlikely.

“It’s not going to come out at Pico,” he said. “I just can’t see that happening.”

The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, which hosted Bopp on Wednesday to update members on the project, supports the extension. They say it will provide traffic relief through the region and will provide commuters with an alternative route. 

According to a study commissioned by the TCA, the construction of the toll road will provide economic benefits, which will provide more than 2,000 jobs and roughly $130 million in tax revenue.

-- Adam Townsend contributed to this article.

ARA February 03, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Not in my backyard. ;-)
ARA February 03, 2013 at 05:37 PM
They do know but won't announce because they know where ever it ends will start a battle with some group (I.e. surfers, neighborhood, environmentalists, etc), thus just like our political leaders, they will not declare anything until its to late for the rest of us to do anything about. Behind the scenes deals are already done, payoffs have occurred, etc., to make it happen. I live in SC and we need another major hwy in and out of town. Look at the 5 Frwy on the weekends and its a parking lot. I support the extension and hope the behind the scene deals look out for us people! We will all benefit!
Capo Parent February 04, 2013 at 11:41 PM
TN In what lifetime do you think you will see any toll road turned over to the state as a state highway? Obviously, not in your lifetime.
Capo Parent February 04, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Funny, that's what developers always say. Build more roads to cure the ills they create. The public is so naive and gullible.
Pamela Crouch February 28, 2013 at 08:48 PM
There is a hearing about this issue at the Costa Mesa City Council Chambers at 77 Fair Drive on Wednesday, March 13th at 9 a.m. Please come to voice your opinion on this "road to nowhere". The plans show this road literally ending at a dirt road (Cow Camp Rd) TCA is also going about this "segmenting" in an illegal way that breaks a few laws... so we'll see if they can get away with it. You can also sign onto a letter to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board to make sure TCA does what they need to, and correctly to protect our coastal water quality, which this project, as is threatens! http://action.surfrider.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7351

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