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By Eric Heinz

Environmental studies related to the toll road and traffic alleviation proposals set forth by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are about to get underway.

The Foothill/Eastern Corridor Agencies, one of the two branches of the TCA governing body, held a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8, in which the board voted to approve contracts to conduct environmental studies along routes where eight proposals for traffic alleviation have been mapped.

The board approved $3 million for LSA Associates, Inc. to provide “environmental services in support of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Project Approval/Environmental Document” (PA/ED) Phase” and $2 million to Fehr & Peers for “traffic modeling and technical services in support of the Caltrans PA/ED Phase,” with both contracts lasting five years. The board originally was scheduled to appropriate $16 million for the services, including a $1.5 million supplemental fund that could be used with board approval.
The eight proposals would include:

  • Idea 9: Connect Ortega Highway and Antonio Parkway to Avery Parkway and SR‑73
  • Idea 11: Add I-5 general-purpose lanes from I-405 to San Diego County line
  • Idea 12: Add I-5 HOT lanes from I-405 to San Diego County line
  • Idea 13: Connect SR-241 to I-5 via the Western Alignment (local connection at La Novia Avenue)
  • Idea 14: Connect SR-241 to I-5 via La Pata Avenue crossing (local connection at Avenida Pico)
  • Idea 17: Connect SR-241 to I-5 via Shorecliffs (local connection at Avenida Vaquero)
  • Idea 18: Connect SR-241 to SR-73 and extend Crown Valley Parkway to SR-241
  • Idea 21: Connect SR-241 to La Pata and terminate there with adding lanes to La Pata.
    Some board members at the meeting said the TCA shouldn’t examine alternatives it isn’t planning to take seriously in the next phases. TCA staff members said that all alternatives should be looked at per the environmental review process.

But San Clemente representatives are still questioning whether the TCA has the authority to propose these roads through the city, as Orange County Transportation Authority oversees county transportation in collaboration with Caltrans, the state agency.

During Santa’s Village by the Sea, San Clemente city officials from 2-8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, will set up the video comment booth at the Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, for people to comment on the TCA’s Project Study Report-Project Development Support document that was available at a recent forum. Check for times. The TCA expects to have its DEIR completed by sometime in 2020.

This article has been updated to reflect the most recent change to the video booth time and date changes.  

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comments (1)

  • I object to the photo accompanying this article, in which the red line on the 5 suggests an ongoing traffic problem. The toll road resistance has documented actual daily traffic every day for a year by taking screen shots from sigalert at peak traffic hours, and it rarely looks like this. I suspect this stock photo accompanied the TCA press release, but as a source of local reporting you need to be a little less credulous. Please keep your images neutral.

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