Jerry Collamer, San Clemente

San Clemente resident Bill Hezzelwood’s suggestion in a letter to the editor in the Sept. 28-Oct. 4 edition of the San Clemente Times to tunnel TCA’s proposed 241-south extension to Trestles (about 10 miles not 5) comes with his admission that he is unfamiliar with past plans to bury a toll road.

Fact is, there’s a 241tunnel plan on OCTA’s books, priced-out by Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) consultants in 2004, labeled “The Beltway.”

A tunneled toll road extension, extending west from the south end of what is now Los Patronas Road (was supposed to be the toll road) and Cow Camp Road. The Beltway tunnel burrows west, under existing open space for 2 and a half miles, resurfacing south of Avery Parkway at I-5, in close proximity to the 73 toll road, creating an actual interchange or nexus of toll roads or freeway and smart arterials, where traffic relief is needed most due to growing east-west traffic on Ortega Highway from Riverside County, and Rancho Mission Viejo LLC’s 14,000-home development smack dab at the intersection of Ortega, Antonio and LaPata, gulp.

The Beltway Tunnel Plan has been on OCTA’s books for 13 years. Oddly, the two cities benefitting most from The Beltway tunnel’s out-of-sight and out-of-mind solution are Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano, which steadfastly oppose it. Politically burying The Beltway tunnel plan until now, it inexplicably reawakened from its politically induced 13-year coma.

Of course the best solution to San Clemente’s 20-year war against TCA’s useless toll road invasion is abolish TCA.

That’s the best plan: abolish the TCA.

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