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What Is Caltrans Trying to Hide?

September 10, 2000

* Having read "Santa Ana Area Tollway Project Still in Gear" (Aug. 26), about the possible extension of the Orange Freeway down the Santa Ana River channel, I am both confused and angered.

The article quotes Caltrans officials as being reluctant even to acknowledge their negotiations with American Transportation Development, the franchise holder. How can public officials conduct secret negotiations on such a project?

It is my understanding that the right to these franchises was approved by the Legislature in 1989 and that the franchise expires in five months. Why can an agency such as Caltrans extend an agreement that originally needed to be approved by elected officials?

This project will affect many people. I acknowledge that there are not a great number of private homes along the proposed route, but this route, if built, would ruin the value of all that are there.

People whose homes and land values are being jeopardized should be given every bit of information about any public project that impacts them. When this information is being withheld from our view, it is my experience that the government agency involved has something to hide.

SCOTT DURRE

Fountain Valley

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