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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Orange County's largest tollway operation announced Tuesday that it has canceled environmental studies for a controversial extension project that was widely criticized and ultimately rejected by the California Coastal Commission in 2008. The Transportation Corridor Agencies rescinded two notices to proceed with federal environmental impact statements for the Foothill South extension, which would have connected the 241 tollway with the 5 Freeway south of San Clemente. The TCA planned to build the Foothill South through the eastern portion of popular San Onofre State Beach -- and Trestles, the surfing mecca.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Orange County's largest tollway operation announced Tuesday that it has canceled environmental studies for a controversial extension project that was widely criticized and ultimately rejected by the California Coastal Commission in 2008. The Transportation Corridor Agencies rescinded two notices to proceed with federal environmental impact statements for the Foothill South extension, which would have connected the 241 tollway with the 5 Freeway south of San Clemente. The TCA planned to build the Foothill South through the eastern portion of popular San Onofre State Beach -- and Trestles, the surfing mecca.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
A major Orange County tollway could eventually default on its debt payments unless the operators can proceed with a $2.2-billion refinance plan, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis by the California State Treasurer's Office supports an effort by the Transportation Corridor Agencies in Irvine to restructure the debt of the Foothill-Eastern tollroad network, which is failing to live up to ridership and revenue projections. “We are pleased with the outcome of the study,” said Lisa Telles, communications director for the corridor agency.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Without a proposed $2.2-billion bond sale to refinance its debt, a major Orange County tollway could eventually default on its bond payments, according to a report released Wednesday. The analysis by the state treasurer's office supports plans by the Transportation Corridor Agencies to restructure the debt at lower interest on the Foothill-Eastern toll road, which is failing to live up to ridership and revenue projections. "We are pleased with the outcome of the study," said Lisa Telles, communications director for the corridor agency.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 1993
Regarding Jeffrey A. Perlman's article, "Big Changes Poised at the Crossroads" (Sept. 27): One major consequence of building the San Joaquin Hills toll road will be to shift the El Toro "Y" bottleneck fiasco south to Avery Parkway in Laguna Niguel. There, at the future crossroads of the San Joaquin Hills tollway with Interstate 5, the history of "Y" gridlock is poised to repeat itself and render traffic relief meaningless. JEAN JENKS Laguna Beach
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 1998
Re "Stronger Tollway Fences Considered to Deter Wildlife," Nov. 28: I am definitely not a socialist by any stretch of the imagination, but $250,000 for fencing to keep a few animals from getting smacked on the Eastern toll road could put a lot of hot meals on the tables and presents under the trees of needy children in Orange County. We live in one of the most affluent communities in the United States, yet we have children going to bed every night without a hot meal, and, even worse, many times without hope.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2001
Re "Tollway Runoff Filtering Approaches Total Failure," April 6: The Transportation Corridor Agencies runoff failure is no surprise. This was expected and predicted, but the real failure is the agency itself. The TCA is unaccountable and irresponsible. It is a quasi-government agency that has removed itself from the public dialogue. It is financed by bonds and is answerable to Wall Street, not the Orange County community. This is a clear case of special interest vs. public interest.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Because of the weakened financial condition of Orange County's largest tollway network, a new study recommends that its leadership postpone a road project and stop borrowing money until state authorities can review the operation. The assessment released Wednesday by the nonprofit Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco is the second critical review in recent months of the Irvine-based Transportation Corridor Agencies, which oversees 51 miles of tollways, the biggest system of its type in the state.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2006 | By Dan Weikel and David Reyes, Times Staff Writers
New traffic studies contradict optimistic predictions that a proposed tollway through San Onofre State Beach would eliminate much of the congestion on Interstate 5 in South County. Most of I-5 in South County will be "consistently congested" at rush hour by 2030 even if the controversial Foothill South toll road extension is built, according to the Orange County Transportation Authority's long-range transportation plan for 2006. The forecasts assume construction of the tollway, a carpool lane each way on the I-5 and some interchange improvements.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2010 | By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
Motorists in the Irvine area can expect increased traffic into next week as roughly 10 miles of toll road remain shut down until crews can clear mud and debris left by the recent rainstorms. California 241 between the 133 and the 261, is expected to be closed until Wednesday, according to Allen Shahood, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. Water continues to seep out of the hills, adding to the water already flooding the road. Shahood said the closure will increase congestion on nearby freeways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Local water quality regulators Wednesday night halted a $200-million tollway project in Orange County when they denied a discharge permit for the controversial proposal. On a 3 to 2 vote, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board declined to issue a permit to the Transportation Corridor Agencies in Irvine, the operator of 51 miles of toll roads in Orange County. The TCA sought the permit for the planned Tesoro Extension that would lengthen the Foothill tollway 5.5 miles from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita to Cow Camp Road east of San Juan Capistrano.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
The leaders of Orange County's largest toll road network on Thursday approved a $2.4-billion bond sale to refinance one of its highway corridors -- a move that will probably extend the number of years drivers will be forced to pay to use the tollway. The restructuring could shore up the operation's sagging finances but would add 13 additional years of toll-paying -- meaning the Foothill-Eastern system would not become a free road until 2053. The corridor includes the 241 and 261. The Foothill-Eastern, which slices through the hills of Orange County, have been battered by poor ridership just as its debt payments have been increasing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
Because of the weakened financial condition of Orange County's largest tollway network, a new study recommends that its leadership postpone a road project and stop borrowing money until state authorities can review the operation. The assessment released Wednesday by the nonprofit Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco is the second critical review in recent months of the Irvine-based Transportation Corridor Agencies, which oversees 51 miles of tollways, the biggest system of its type in the state.
OPINION
July 4, 2012
Re "O.C. tollways to stop taking cash," July 1 So let me make sure I understand. If you have a product for which you are losing customers, and you want to increase revenue, you should raise prices and make it less convenient to use? That appears to be the strategy of the Transportation Corridor Agencies as it raises prices 5% to 10% and eliminates the use of cash on the tollways, requiring all users to have a FasTrak or other account. Who is the business strategy genius they're getting their advice from?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 7, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Each time Stephanie Hatch drives from her home in South Orange County to San Diego, she takes a deep sigh. Hatch of Trabuco Canyon avoids taking her toddler son south — despite attractions such as Sea World and the zoo — for one reason: traffic. The last time she drove that way was last spring. But if there were an alternative to the 5 Freeway, she said, that would change. "You think, 'Oh gosh, this would be so much nicer if we had the toll road,'" she said. Hatch is referring to an extension of the 241 Toll Road, which has been discussed for years but is vehemently opposed by environmentalists, among others.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2011 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
Drivers on the San Joaquin Hills toll road through western Orange County could be paying tolls for an extra six years under a proposed agreement that would restructure about $430 million of its $2.1 billion in debt. The agreement is asking bondholders to lower payments for 13 years and restructure the way the agency pays interest on certain bonds. An agreement, which would push back the bond maturity dates by six years, to 2042, is expected in two weeks. "Basically … what we're trying to do is be proactive about the way we manage finances here at the agency," said Tom Margro, chief executive of the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which also operates the Foothill and Eastern toll roads, which includes a portion of the 133 Freeway.
OPINION
July 7, 2002
Re "Tollway Price Is Fair, OCTA Says," June 25: Members of the public and the press have a right to review documents on which elected officials and county agencies base decisions. The Times reported that the Orange County Transit Agency released documents regarding the 91 tollway negotiations solely as a result of public information requests filed by The Times and the Orange County Register. OCTA released the documents because, as a public agency, we report directly to our customers: residents and riders in Orange County.
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