City officials are putting the Orange County Transportation Authority on notice that they do not intend to build a Newport Coast Drive bypass, despite the city's recent approval of the proposed road.
Council members said their March 29 vote amending the city's General Plan to include a toll-free bypass to Newport Coast Drive was made under "extreme duress." The county threatened to withhold millions of dollars in transportation funds if a route was not approved.
On Tuesday night, the City Council unanimously approved the wording of a letter addressed to the OCTA stating that Irvine "will not fund or initiate construction" of the Newport Coast Drive bypass.
Several bypass routes were proposed to circumvent a 1 1/2-mile section of Newport Coast Drive planned to become part of the San Joaquin Hills toll road. Irvine residents were divided into warring camps, arguing against routes nearest their neighborhoods.