Agreement reached to end 15-year dispute over SR 241 toll road extension
An agreement has been reached to end the 15-year old dispute over the proposed Foothill-South Toll Road in southern Orange County and northern San Diego County.
The details of this historic settlement were revealed by representatives from the Foothill / Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the Save San Onofre Coalition, the California Park and Recreation Commission and the Native American Heritage Commission.
The agreement has created an opportunity for TCA to consider a number of transportation project ideas including State Route 241 – Interstate 5 connection options.
Foothill / Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency chairman Craig Young said: “TCA is very pleased to join over a dozen environmental organisations in this unprecedented outcome, which underscores the collaboration between the Agency’s leadership and leaders of the environmental community.”
The agreement has put an end to all the outstanding litigation that arose due to TCA’s Foothill-South and Tesoro Extension plans to extend the 241 toll road in southern Orange County.
TCA’s plans were opposed by the Save San Onofre Coalition, the Attorney General and various state agencies, as it would damage environmental and cultural resources in San Onofre State Beach, the Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy and other open space lands.
Transportation Corridor Agency chief executive officer Mike Kraman said: “For the past two years, TCA and its team of experts have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions about the future of improving transportation mobility and the importance of protecting environmentally sensitive areas.
"This agreement is a baseline for achieving both of those objectives.”
The final agreement has settled five lawsuits challenging TCA’s 2006 and 2013 approvals of its Foothill-South and Tesoro Extension projects brought by the California Attorney General and members of the Save San Onofre Coalition.
As per the agreement, TCA will ensure permanent protection of San Onofre State Beach, the Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy, and other critical open space, wildlife habitat and cultural resources in the San Mateo Creek and adjacent watersheds from TCA-sponsored road projects.