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The 241 will provide the final, vital link in a well-planned system that serves 21 million residents in Southern California. Traffic forecasts for the year 2025 show a 60 percent increase in traffic at the San Diego/Orange County line, which means 75,000 more vehicles a day and 200 million pounds of additional greenhouse gas emissions each year.
The facts of the 241 speak for themselves:
The 241 is the Best Option for Relieving Congestion: State and federal agencies chose this alignment after six years of study. Widening Interstate 5 would cost Californians an estimated $2.4 billion and displace hundreds of homes and businesses. No federal or state funds exist for such an undertaking. The 241 will reduce potential gridlock for San Diegans who commute to Orange County and will also ease the traffic burden on I-5 on weekends.
Protecting Campsites: The alignment crosses a little-used inland subunit of San Onofre State Beach Park east of I-5 almost a mile from the beach. The three most popular campgrounds are west of I-5, far from the 241. Plans call for keeping all sites open during and after construction, building pedestrian undercrossings to other park areas and adding a protective barrier to reduce traffic sounds. In addition, TCA will contribute $100 million to improve California’s state parks system.
Protecting the Beaches: The road ends a half mile from the beach on Marine Corps property, not at Trestles beach; the 241 was designed to protect the beaches, with no impact on the surf.
Improving Water Quality: Water detention systems will filter runoff from the 241 and two miles of I-5 currently without water management systems. The result: arguably the best roadway water quality treatment system in the country.
Avoiding Creeks: The road crosses high above San Mateo Creek on four small bridge columns, each about 70 square feet at the base and designed for minimal environmental impact.
Protecting the Watershed: The alignment preserves huge blocks of open space for wildlife corridors, avoiding wetlands and occupied habitat areas.
Saving Taxpayer Dollars: The 241 Toll Road will be built without tax dollars; users pay their way. It fits with Governor Schwarzenegger’s call for public-private partnerships to solve infrastructure issues (the Governor supports the 241) during our budget crisis.
Thank you for participating in this discussion today. As public agencies, the Transportation Corridor Agencies are here to improve the local quality of life. We believe that being able to get home from work faster or get to the coast easily contributes to the quality of life we enjoy in Southern California. Your comments are important to us and we will consider all of them.
— TOM MARGRO