By Peter Samuel
TCA has design work under way for an extra lane each direction on the Eastern Toll Road (CA-133) in the Irvine area from the interchange with I-5 north to the interchange with the Foothill Toll Road (CA-241), a distance of 5km (3mi). The widening work expected to start in the summer is provided for in the existing right of way and only involves minor earthmoving and bridge work. There is one partial interchange at Irvine Blvd and two crossroad bridgings in this stretch. TCA also plans a similar widening to 2x3-lanes of its original Foothill toll road. It wants to anticipate congestion and provide more flexibility for any future repaving jobs that are needed.
Construction is also beginning on a missing interchange on the San Joaquin Toll Rd at Pacific Park/Glenwood Drives in Aliso Viejo, immediately east of its main Catalina View toll plaza. The interchange is more of a convenience than a moneymaker, so the county is putting up four-fifths of the $8.5m cost.
October saw average daily toll transactions at 70k on the San Joaquin (CA-73) and 149k on the Foothills/Eastern combined toll road (ÇA-133, CA-241, CA-261). The TCA now use the name San Joaquin Toll Road and have dropped the awful transp corridor term and also the Hills. [After many fruitless efforts to get our anglo-saxon mouth around the word San Joaquin we were finally tutored into pronouncing it San Wah Keen, and now appreciate the fact that the name is of Chinese not Spanish origin.]