Bush Administration Rejects O.C. Toll Road Plan

Rendering of Project Produced by the Save San Onofre Coalition

Yesterday, the United States Commerce Department surprised both detractors and supporters of the plan to build a $1.3 billion, six to eight lane extension of California 241 in Orange County, when it decided to uphold a decision of the California Coastal Comission to halt the project.  The appeal to the Bush Administration drew more than 35,000 written comments following a hearing that attracted more than 6,000 attendees.

The Commerce Department’s decision, while great news for highway construction opponents isn’t a condemnation of giant highway construction projects in general.  Rather, because there were other options to build other highway projects the Department could find no reason to overturn the state’s environmental board.

Nobody was more surprised than Jerry Amante, the Chair of the partially-publicly funded Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency which had pulled out all of the tricks to try and get the project passed including smearing opponents in pieces produced with agency funds.  He tells the Times:

"I’m stunned that any right-thinking secretary of Commerce could make
this disastrous a decision," Amante said. Anti-road activists have
"been able to throw a roadblock in the path of progress . . . and to
mire our residents in a poor quality of life for the sake of their

While the decision was cheered in many quarters, including the Times’ editorial page,  this matter is by no means settled.  While playing coy with his options, Amante has vowed to keep fighting to build his highway project of choice.  When other giant road projects, such as a 8.7-mile extension of the Foothill South through San Clemente that would join with arterial roads to connect with the I-5, isn’t a big enough highway project for your needs, Jerry Amante is your man.

  • OC Driver

    The rendering from the San Onofre faction is as phony as the Save Trestles and other bogus arguments from all the anti-roadies and anti-growthers. They photo-shopped an interchange over the land, and it’s not even where the 241 would connect with I-5. the connection is at Basilone Road on Camp Pendleton, a half mile from the beach. Outside experts and even Surfing Magazine said the road would have no impact on the surf. The surfer types were pawns for no-growthers, many from far outside Orange County and San Diego County. I wish the LA Times or OC Register would do an investigative piece on where the money came from to pay for the anti-road propaganda campaign, which included four-color ads in newspapers, paid advertising on newspaper Web sites, pay-per-click advertising placements, streaming video on their Web sites (major production expenses), bussing the unemployed to create the circus at Coastal Commission, papering the coastal communities with fliers, etc. BIG bucks. Why and from where? Disgusting that the no-growth luddites and unemployed surfers can selfishly screw up commuting for millions and millions of employed and moms and kids and truckers and visitors.

  • LOL OC Driver, you are funny example of the 1930’s living on inside the mind of a dumb suburbanite. The car and oil companies love guys like you – they don’t have to advertise to you to justify more subsidies for their industries.

    I like how you refer to surfers as “unemployed”, and yet several HUGE multi-billion dollar-a-year surf corporations spent millions to fight this toll road.

    “No-growth”? How about “No More Crap Highways Ruining Our Country”?


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