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Group's CenterLine Boost Comes Before Irvine Votes

May 29, 2003|Dan Weikel | Times Staff Writer

About 120 of Orange County's elected officials, community leaders and residents declared their support Wednesday for the beleaguered CenterLine rail project, just days before an Irvine special election on the proposal.

The group, which included Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), sent a petition backing CenterLine to the Orange County Transportation Authority's board of directors. The 11.4-mile light-rail line is now planned for Irvine, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.

Advocates contend that the light-rail system is needed to meet the county's future transportation demands and maintain economic strength in the region.

Their support counters an earlier petition to OCTA by a group of about 25 elected officials who asked the board to withdraw its support for the $1-billion-plus project.

The timing of the pro-CenterLine petition coincides with Tuesday's special election, when Irvine voters will decide whether the city should participate in the project.

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