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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.

jim capistrano January 31, 2013 at 03:44 PM
...they know exactly where this new extension will end...but won't announce it. Why? I can't imagine, wherever it ends, how the existing infrastructure will handle the traffic. If it ends at the Ortega Highway, can you foresee the traffic going west through that residential neighborhood. Jeeze...
rob h January 31, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Plus,the standard MO will be building more and more housing along the extension, strip malls etc. NEVER ENDS
Sicmarc January 31, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Or, it will end at Pico, which will result in the predicted gridlock, leaving the residents of San Clemente no choice but to support the extension to I5 at Trestles. If you think the owners of the toll road are not banking on it? I have a bridge to sell you. Personally, I find this sort of manipulation of the will of the public offensive. If you feel the same way? I would suggest you return those transponders you are renting for $3 a month and do your best to stay off the toll roads.
wschrimp January 31, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I love how they always talk about just what benefits this is going to have on the surrounding communities and never anything about the draw backs, like all of the traffic that is going to be dumped onto Ortega Highway and run thru our city. Since the Tollroad will likely never connect to the 5, this extension will likely never be paid for in our life times. I wonder how the bond holders would feel if they really looked at the numbers and where presented with the truth and not a lot of false promises? The tollroads are failing, but hey let's add another 200 million to the tollroads already giant debt. So that is approximately 36 million per mile, and if the tollroad never connects with the 5, this extension can never be paid for. They do not care, because when the Tollroads go bankrupt, which they will in the near future, it will be the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill. This extension is not needed, except by the Rancho Mission Viejo Company. They cannot sell their homes or build to the extent they want to, if that extension is not built. I have no problem with land owners developing their own properties, but they need to tell their neighbors the truth and not lies.
Mr Salty January 31, 2013 at 04:51 PM
THE TCA Makes The Environment Better? What a load of hogwash, balderdash & poppycock. TCA GO AWAY!
JENIFER MASSEY January 31, 2013 at 05:25 PM
OK Jim where is it going to end ? Let us have the TRUTH.
Christine Lampert January 31, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Is this a trick? They are going to start building the road, but no one knows where the road is going..........?? It's a joke, right??
Todd Nicholson January 31, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Hey Sicmarc-- You're the owner of the toll road! Once built the State of California acquires it as one of its state highways -- and you didn't have to pay to have it built.
jeff s January 31, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Disgusting toll road this iscthecwirst plan I've ever heard.. Where is the CA Coastal commission?!? The corrupt TCA belongs in a prison..
Steve Netherby January 31, 2013 at 08:00 PM
How do you boil a frog? Don't drop it into boiling water; it will get scalded and jump out. No. Put it in cool water and raise the temperature in increments. It feels comfortable, gets used to it, and before it knows it, it's boiled. The public is a frog the TCA aims to boil—a little at a time, until, before we know it, Ortega and Pico are gridlocked, Donna O'Neill Land Conservancy is history, San Mateo Campground is closed, Trestles is toast, and the I-5 is backed up from the toll-road exit north through San Clemente. Jim Evert: TCA makes the environment better? Come hiking with me sometime; you need to be relieved of that naivete: it's not a quote you'll want to be remembered for.
DJ January 31, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I can't wait until the Toll Road is finished. Stop worrying about what isen't and only worry about what is... If you drive and have attempted to get out of SC when there is even the slightest bit of traffic, it is pure gridlock right now. The toll road is a great thing, the only problem is I wish it was already built and we did not need to wait so long for the completion. It did not cause huge traffic jams on Oso where it stops, and it is only a blessing, not a detriment. Stop complaining and look at the good it will do for our community. I commute, and it is currently horrible. In stead of complaining, what is your solution?? We allowed Talega and the Reserves to be built, not we need to provide a means to lessen the traffic issues. It will only be better when we get the new Toll Road.
Christopher Roberts February 01, 2013 at 04:38 AM
Naysayers, you can't stop progress and NIMBY isn't the answer to every problem. I suspect that you may even find that new roads result in easier commutes and LESS traffic, ironically, exactly what planners intend. You may even be happy about less time idling in traffic and the resultant decrease in air pollution.
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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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