CA-Foothill pike extension win
By Peter Samuel
Proponents of completing the Foothill Toll Road (CA-241) had a big win in the California legislature. A bill (SB1277) by leftist Sen Tom Hayden to bar the road was voted down in the environmental committee Aug 8. TCA, the toll authority pushing the project says that Assoc General Contractors, the Orange County Business Council, SCAG, various cities and labor unions all combined to defeat the bill. Nossaman etc of Los Angeles, premier toll road lawyers did an outstanding job of quarterbacking (captaining?) and developing the strategy to defeat the bill, says a memo from Mike Stockstill at TCA.
At stake is a 26km (16mi) southward extension to I-5 at the San Diego/Orange counties line from its present terminus at Oso Parkway in the southern part of Mission Viejo. There are two possible alignments (1) the eastern or CP for Camp Pendleton which keeps up in the hills skirting development and indeed has its final third just inside San Diego county and within the boundaries of the sprawling Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base (2) the western or BX alignment (Who knows what BX means?) which sticks to the more developed areas of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. The BX has the advantage of picking up more traffic but is fiercely opposed by the city of San Clemente. The CP alignment however has been strongly opposed by the USEPA and the Interior Department. TCA has long supported the CP alignment but new environmental impact work is ongoing.
Either route would serve the residents of a beautiful part of southern California, open up great scenery, relieve congestion on I-5, and add to the connectivity of the highway network of the area. The road would be a basic 2x2-lanes with 4 or 5 interchanges. The most expensive would be the I-5 IC at the southern end with very long bridging ramps.
The Foothill South is going to be an expensive road. TCA has said design and construction could cost as much as $644m and land is probably going to cost $100m or more. Thats $7m/lane-km and $12m/lane-mile. (TRnl#27 May 88, p8)