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State Route 241

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Routing Routing

Rte 241Toll Road From Route 5 south of San Clemente to Route 91 in the City of Anaheim.

Post 1964 Signage History Post 1964 Signage History

Post-1964 Legistlative Route Graphic In 1963, Route 241 was defined as the route “Route 11 near Adams Street to Route 11 near Elysian Park in Los Angeles.” Route 11 is present-day Route 110. This was to be the "East Bypass".

In 1965, Chapter 1372 repealed this routing.

Post-1964 Legistlative Route Graphic In 1968, Chapter 282 created a new definition of Route 241 as “…in San Francisco from Route 1 to Route 101 near Fell and Oak Streets.” This routing was the result of a transfer from Route 80. This was to be part of the Panhandle Freeway.

In 1972, Chapter 1216 deleted this definition of Route 241.

State Shield Toll Road Transportation Corridor In 1988, Chapter 1363 created a new definition of Route 241 as “Route 231 near the Cities of Tustin and Irvine to Route 5 south of San Clemente.”

In 1996, Chapter 1154 extended the route by transfer from former Route 231: “Route 5 south of San Clemente to Route 91 in the City of Anaheim Route 231 near the Cities of Tustin and Irvine”. This is part of the Orange County Transportation Corridor System

Route 241 consists of three transporation corridors: Eastern, Foothill North, and Foothill South:

Pre 1964 Signage History Pre 1964 Signage History

The 1964-1965 incarnation of Route 241 (from 1964 Route 11 near Adams Street to 1964 Route 11 near Elysian Park) was a proposed LRN 222 that would have sliced through the heart of downtown Los Angeles running E of Main Street. It was never constructed, and is no longer part of the state highway system.

The 1968-1972 incarnation of Route 241 (from Route 1 to Route 101 near Oak and Fell Streets in San Francisco) was LRN 223, defined in 1947.

The post-1988 routing of Route 241 was not defined in 1963.

Status Status

Foothill South Completion (~ ORA 0.000 to ORA 14.545)

In the early 2000s, the Foothill South alignment had two possibilities under consideration: a locally preferred alignment east of the City of San Clemente and traversing the undeveloped San Onofre State Beach Park portion of the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, or an alternative alignment generally 2½ miles westerly of the locally preferred alignment (near La Pata and Avendia Pico). Future interchanges include Oso Parkway, Crown Valley Parkway, Ortega Highway, Avenida Pico and Christianitos Road. It terminates at Interstate 5 in San Diego County just south of Basilone Road.

The SAFETEA-LU act, enacted in August 2005 as the reauthorization of TEA-21, provided the following expenditures on or near this route:

Rejected 241 RouteIn December 2005, the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency released its final environmental impact report on the alignments. They chose a wilderness route for the Foothill South, which could be completed as early as 2010. The agency's chosen route, one of six possibilities outlined in May, traverse the habitat for at least 10 threatened or endangered species and cut a state park in half. The roadway would be raised on pillars near the coast and would be visible from the coastal side of San Onofre State Beach. Although toll-road officials say it would have no direct effect on surfing, species or habitat near the beach, activists say it would spoil coastal views and ruin the ambience of the state park's campground. A state parks commission recently called on state officials to fight the toll road. The toll-road board votes on the proposal Jan. 12, 2006. Then, the agency must gain permits from a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the state Department of Fish and Game, as well as the state Coastal Commission.

In late February 2006, the TCA selected the routing that traverses San Onofre State Beach. This created even more controversy, with bills being introduced in the state legislature to prohibit construction of toll roads in state parks. Specifically, in April 2007, AB 1457 (Huffman), which would ban a proposed toll road through San Onofre, was scheduled for a hearing before the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, was put on a two-year track in order to provide time to grow support to get it through the Legislature. Supporters of the road include such groups as the Associated General Contractors of California, the Orange County Business Council, the Los Angeles-Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council and local elected officials.

There is some controversy on this routing. a coalition of environmental groups opposed to the project has released a pair of studies that question the accuracy of study. Several environmental groups have rallied to support the California Department of Parks in its opposition to the proposed route through two federally-owned parklands . Each possible route was judged by the number of homes and businesses to be seized by eminent domain. The also compared construction of the route to widening I-5.

In November 2006, the LA Times reported that new traffic studies contradict optimistic predictions that a proposed tollway through San Onofre State Beach would eliminate much of the congestion on I-5 in South Orange County. Most of I-5 in South Orange 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. If only the tollway is built, the study suggests, the situation will be even worse, with motorists on the interstate seeing "severely congested" conditions.

In May 2007, efforts to extend the route were dealt a setback when a congressional committee voted to eliminate legislation designed to expedite the highway’s construction--specifically, approved a defense bill amendment related to Route 241 that would overrule a 1999 decision by Congress that gave the Navy the power to grant tollway operators a 40-acre easement inside San Onofre (as the park is on leased land within USMC Pendleton). The amendment would also dismantle other federal legislation freeing Route 241 from regulations in the federal Transportation Act requiring road builders to exhaust all "feasible and prudent" alternatives before parkland can be used for a highway. During the summer this amendment stalled, but as of December 2007, it had passed all procedural challenges and made it into the defense authorization bill. Note that the project can't be built unless the state Coastal Commission grants a permit for its construction, and a commission staff report issued in September 2007 already has recommended that the permit be denied.

In February 2008, the California Coastal Commission denied the construction permit, and the OCTA began consideration of a new route.

In December 2008, the U.S. Commerce Department announced it would uphold the state Coastal Commission's rejection of the plan. Federal officials could only override the state's decision if the project had no alternatives or was necessary to national security, and the announcement said neither of those criteria was met. The California Coastal Commission rejected plans for the road earlier in 2008, saying that the six-lane road -- which would run from Rancho Santa Margarita to Basilone Road at Camp Pendleton -- violated the state's coastal management program. The toll road agency backing the plan "may pursue another route" consistent with coastal zone protections, according to the Commerce Department announcement.

In June 2009, it was reported that the toll road agency still wants to complete the connection to I-5, and is considering other routes. The agency has budgeted $11.9 million for "241 completion" in its fiscal year that begins July 1. The rejected route would have extended Route 241 by 16.9 miles, from its current terminus in the Rancho Santa Margarita area through San Onofre State Beach park to join I-5. Since the U.S. Commerce Department rejected the proposed route in December, the toll road agency's staff has reached out to supporters and opponents in dozens of meetings to see if agreement can be reached on an alternate route. While opponents say planners should look at options besides extending the toll road, the toll road agency feels a failure to extend Route 241 would force a "massive widening" of I-5 from the San Diego County line north to Laguna Hills.

In December 2009, San Clemente city council members said they expect to vote in January on a resolution opposing a toll road into San Clemente. This came about due to discussions that TCA had with federal officials about alternative routes that would cut through San Clemente. There are two potential routes of concern to the city: the Commerce Department's option, which would end at Avenida La Pata and Avenida Vista Hermosa, dumping traffic there, and a longer route that would connect with I-5 beside Avenida Pico. The TCA has declared the Commerce Department's option unfeasible, and with respect to alternative routes within Camp Pendleton, the Marines are on record as far back as 1990 stating that the route through the state park was the only one acceptable to the Marine Corps.

In May 2011, it was reported that TCA was attempting again to rally public opinion for construction of the route. The TCA is trying to re-establish a Route 241 proposal three years after the California Coastal Commission rejected a previous plan and the U.S. secretary of commerce rejected the TCA's appeal. TCA has run advertisements appealing for public support. The specifics of their alternate route have not been released.

In October 2011, the TCA voted to conduct a $3.9-million feasibility study for an addition that would run from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita to the vicinity of Ortega Highway. If approved, construction could begin in early 2013. The study is expected to take a year, and will consider environmental effects, finances and engineering.

In November 2012, it was reported that the OCTA had approved more work on the extension of Route 241. Although there is still no movement regarding completing the extension to I-5, TCA is planning an addition that would bring the road's southern end to just north of Ortega Highway. The Tesoro extension is estimated to cost around $195 million, and TCA is working on attaining right-of-ways with Rancho Mission Viejo, which owns the land and is developing homes on the property. The project will go to a regional water board hearing in February 2013 and a community forum in March before a TCA board vote.

In April 2013, it was reported that due of the weakened financial condition of OCTA, a new study recommends that its leadership postpone a road project and stop borrowing money until state authorities can review the operation. In December 2012, SNR Denton, a Los Angeles law firm that helped stop the TCA from building a route through San Onofre State Park, disclosed documents that revealed a host of issues plaguing the agency. They included sagging ridership and revenue as well as mounting debts and declining ratings for bonds sold to investors. The institute’s report also coincides with plans by the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission to assess the viability of a proposed refinancing of $2.4 billion in TCA bonds. The new study agrees with many of Denton’s findings, but it goes one step further in recommending that the TCA halt the refinancing and shelve a proposed tollway project in southern Orange County until the agency’s finances are vetted. Tollway officials said the issues raised by the new study are “old news regenerated by some of the same opposition groups” to TCA projects. They noted that the operation has a quarter million riders daily, earns about $200 million in annual revenue and has not missed a debt payment. The report states that to make its debt payments, the TCA has raised tolls so much that its debt per mile is now far higher than the national average for toll roads. The Foothill-Eastern’s is $64 million, while the San Joaquin’s is $136 million. The national average is $17.1 million, the study notes. Almost a quarter of the TCA’s total debt payments of more than $10 billion stem from capital appreciation bonds that delay principal and interest payments for years and can result in huge debt payments. As such, tolls for both corridors are now among the highest in the country, researchers said, causing many price-sensitive motorists to avoid them in favor of free public highways.
(Source: LA Times, 4/10/13)

In June 2013, it was reported that the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board declined to issue a discharge 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. Board members who voted to deny the permit said the Tesoro Extension was not the project that should have been brought to them for a permit. They contended that the proposal was actually part of a broader TCA plan to lengthen the Foothill toll road 16 miles to I-5 around San Clemente.

In April 2014, it was reported that the TCA has announced 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 Route 241 tollway with the I-5 Freeway south of San Clemente.

In March 2015, it was reported that the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board declined to issue the waste discharge permit that was needed before construction can begin on the controversial extension project. It was the second time since June 2013 that the water board has rejected a discharge permit for the planned Tesoro Extension that would add 5.5 miles to the Foothill tollway by extending it from Oso Parkway in Rancho Santa Margarita to Cow Camp Road east of San Juan Capistrano. Citing substantial evidence, the board asserted that the Tesoro was actually part of a broader TCA plan to extend the Foothill tollway 16 miles to the 5 Freeway around San Clemente. As a result, the board concluded that potential effects on water quality of the proposed extension were not adequately addressed and unmitigated effects could occur if the Foothill tollway is eventually built.
(Source: LA Times, 3/17/2015)

In November 2016, it was reported that Orange County tollway officials agreed in a legal settlement in November 2016 to preserve San Onofre State Beach and withdraw their approval of a six-lane highway through the popular park. The new agreement ends five lawsuits that targeted plans to lengthen the Foothill South toll road 16 miles to I-5 in north San Diego County, using a portion of the state beach, which includes wildlife habitat, campgrounds, Indian sites and heavily used surf breaks, including Trestles. The settlement also requires the Transportation Corridor Agencies in Irvine to rescind approval of the proposed 5½-mile Tesoro Extension, which environmentalists called a possible attempt to resurrect the route through San Onofre. Agency board members voted 10-2 to end the lawsuits brought in 2006 and 2011 by the state of California, the California Parks and Recreation Commission, the Native American Heritage Commission and the Save San Onofre Coalition. The lawsuits claimed that the environmental impact reports for both projects were inadequate and that the Foothill South extension would damage valuable open space, a local land conservancy and one of the most popular parks in the state. The settlement will allow the corridor agency to consider a variety of transportation options, including a different Foothill South project, while protecting San Onofre, the San Mateo Creek watershed, the Richard and Donna O’Neill Conservancy and Indian sites, such as the ancient village of Panhe. Under the agreement, the agency can assess the environmental impacts of alternate routes for connecting the Foothill tollway to I-5 that avoid San Onofre, valuable open space, wildlife habitat and culturally sensitive areas. The settlement also calls for the agency to create a $28-million conservation fund that will help preserve the largely intact San Mateo Creek watershed that drains into the ocean at Trestles, one of the state’s best surfing spots.
(Source: LA Times, 11/9/2016)

Rte 241 S ProposalsIn September 2017, it was reported that the Mayor of San Clemente just realized that a toll road that the Transportation Corridor Agency is considering merging onto I-5 near Avenida Pico would fly over a former Carrows Restaurant that borders San Clemente High School. Mayor Kathy Ward, who represents the city on the TCA’s board of directors, said she was given a tour of potential south Orange County toll road routes that are part of a TCA mobility study. She said she was shocked to see how close an envisioned bridge onto I-5 would pass the high school. Ward said she had thought, based on a decade-old TCA environmental study, that a potential Route 241 alignment would hug a hillside below St. Andrews Methodist Church and descend to I-5 at the Pico interchange. Mike Chesney, chief strategy officer for the TCA, said Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the environmental process will need to vet any alignments that might be proposed as a result of the mobility study. But at this point he said it appears the potential alignment shown to Mayor Ward could be designed without physical impacts to the high school. San Clemente’s City Council has declared its opposition to any toll road slicing through the city. The city’s website states opposition to any toll road that would divide a community. The city and a homeowner association are suing the TCA, challenging a protective zone that was created in a lawsuit settlement the TCA reached in November 2016 with environmental groups. The city says the avoidance zone, designed to protect the area around Trestles Beach, cornered the TCA into trying to push Route 241 through one established community or another in south Orange County to connect to I-5. Mark McGuire, a San Clemente attorney who has questioned Route 241 dumping more traffic onto I-5 within established communities, told the City Council he was pleased to hear people in Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano are advocating keeping Rancho Mission Viejo’s Los Patrones Parkway a free road. Los Patrones is an arterial highway being built by the ranch development to link Oso Parkway and Route 241 with Cow Camp Road, near Ortega Highway. McGuire said advocates want it to remain free and not be turned over to the TCA as an extension of the Route 241 Toll Road south of Oso.
(Source: OC Register, 9/6/2017)

In March 2018, it was reported that San Clemente officials releasing a study they said shows the project to extend a toll road through their city or adjacent wilderness areas would be a costly boondoggle that wouldn’t improve traffic. The Transportation Corridor Agencies, which operate four toll roads in southern and eastern Orange County, is exploring several options for a new north-south corridor that could ease congestion on I-5 by connecting drivers to the Route 241 toll road. The city already is challenging a lawsuit settlement the TCA reached in 2016 with environmental groups seeking to protect Trestles Beach, a popular surf spot just south of San Clemente. The $89,000, city-commissioned study concluded that if Route 241 is extended, by 2040 drivers would be traveling more miles and and experiencing more delays than if the project were not built. San Clemente officials disputed the idea the TCA is needed, aside from managing existing toll roads and paying off their debts. They felt that the time has come to ask for one transportation agency (OCTA) to control all transportation planning in this county.
(Source: OC Register, 3/1/2018)

In May 2018, it was reported that the battle over a proposed toll road extension in South Orange County may be fought next in Sacramento, after Assemblyman Rocky Chávez drafted a bill that would limit the powers of the agencies that operate a tollway system in the eastern and southern reaches of the county. Under the bill that Chávez, R-Oceanside, introduced, the Transportation Corridor Agencies would be barred from issuing new debt or forming a new entity to build additional toll roads. The bill if passed also would designate the Orange County Transportation Authority as the county’s sole traffic and transit planner. Officials in San Clemente, who support Chávez’s bill, have clashed with the TCA over proposed routes for extending the Route 241 toll road through or alongside their city to connect it with I-5. TCA officials continue to study possible extensions, but haven’t chosen a specific route and have not released cost estimates for the various options.
(Source: OC Register, 5/10/2018)

In March 2019, the LA Times reported on an investigation into the consulting firms used to wage a multimillion-dollar public outreach campaign to win public support for the toll road extension. Billing records reviewed by The Times show a consultant at one firm was paid for working 28 hours in a single day. Another consulting firm received nearly $230,000 for more than 1,300 hours spent reading “emails of news from transportation stories; evaluate reporter perspectives” at up to $185 an hour, the records show. Meanwhile, the authority paid yet another consultant more than $3,000 a month to compile news stories at $90 an hour, according to the bills. There was a $380,000 budget in one year to produce content for two small websites and social media accounts for the tollway authority, as well as marketing to specific audiences. Jeff Corless, chief executive and president of the firm that has received the most money, Venture Strategic Inc., said some costs were incurred from tracking and responding to misinformation put out by San Clemente and a flood of emails he said the city had encouraged people to send. “Their method is to tear down and destroy and spread misinformation and create confusion,” Corless said. The source of the problem appears to be an “antagonizing” campaign waged by San Clemente’s own consulting firm, Los Angeles-based Englander, Knabe & Allen, which had lost out to Venture Strategic in bidding for the tollway agency’s contract. The firm’s strategic proposal to San Clemente invoked Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” in explaining how it would battle the toll road extension, and mentioned filing public records requests for consultants’ fees as one of its weapons. City records show the firm in late 2017 was paid nearly $100,000. Late Feb. 2019, after The Times asked about the spending, the Transportation Corridor Agencies announced that a “routine audit” had identified some double-billings, but that the lead consultant had actually underbilled, leaving the agency owing more than $4,500. The joint authority’s chief strategy officer, Mike Chesney, defended the consultants’ work as essential to “help us navigate” the controversies that have plagued the project. He said the firms have been effective in engaging the public in the agency’s planning.
(Source: LA Times, 3/11/2019)

In July 2019, it was reported that the city of San Clemente and the Reserve Maintenance Corporation have filed a joint motion seeking to prove the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) lack the authority to override state law in their intentions to extend Route 241 through San Clemente or north of the city. According to the court document, the TCA and Caltrans’ current project proposals extend Route 241 as a state highway from its present boundary at Oso Parkway near the city of Mission Viejo and connect it to I-5 in or north of San Clemente. There are a total of five alternative Route 241 routes that have been proposed. The city and Reserve’s attorneys are saying none of these proposals obey California legislation, which establishes the route for the Route 241 thusly: “Route 241 is from Route 5 south of San Clemente to Route 91 in the City of Anaheim.” City and Reserve attorneys argue the legislature intended Route 241 to bypass San Clemente and connect to I-5 south of the city near Basilone Road in San Diego County. The attorneys contend that the proposals are not legally permissible, because they do not conform to the route description for the Route 241 Highway set forth in the state code -- and that the legislature needs to amend that definition to indicate if a connection N of San Clemente is desired. The City and Reserve also filed a separate motion on July 15 against the TCA and Caltrans seeking to invalidate a 2017 protective agreement and a 2016 settlement agreement between the TCA, California’s attorney general and several environmental groups, which designated an avoidance area through which a toll road could not pass. Bane said the motion isn’t advocating for a toll road in the avoidance area, but rather alleges the TCA and Caltrans violated the law by entering into the agreements without “proper public process” and without including the city.
(Source: Data Point Times, 7/19/2019)

In January 2020, it was reported that the city of San Clemente was asking local residents to submit letters to state lawmakers, expressing support for legislation that would strip the authority of the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA). The measure, Assembly Bill 1273, which Assemblymember Bill Brough introduced last spring, proposes to restrict the joint powers authority from creating new toll roads while requiring the agencies to pay down the debt incurred from building its roads. On its website, the city posted a template of a two-page letter that urges members of the committee to vote in favor of AB 1273. The draft letter could be printed out, signed and submitted to members of the California Assembly. The letter outlines several concerns with the TCA. Chief among them are claims of the agencies’ financial deficiencies, as well as their failure throughout the years to meet ridership projections and hit revenue targets in the face of rising debt. The TCA has strongly opposed the legislation, calling it “an assault on local control.” In a letter Michael Kraman, the TCA’s chief executive, wrote to the chair of the Assembly committee, Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, he stated that the bill would be a job killer, circumvents the California Environmental Quality Act process and “will lead to dirtier air in Orange County,” among other things. “This bill was introduced as part of broader tactics by the City of San Clemente to discredit the TCA and disrupt the environmental review process for the South County Traffic Relief Effort,” Kraman wrote. The TCA is currently working with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) on the Relief Effort—the series of proposed routes meant to “improve north-south mobility in South Orange County and accommodate regional travel demand.” Some of those routes include extensions of the Route 241 Toll Road that would connect to the I-5 Freeway through parts of San Clemente and San Juan. The initial stages of the environmental process to study the proposed routes are officially underway.
(Source: San Clemente Times, 1/8/2020)

In January 2020, the OCTA also submitted their response on the South County Traffic Relief Effort (SCTRE). In a Dec. 5 letter, OCTA officially submitted its comments for the public scoping period currently scheduled to close on Feb. 7. “The SCTRE is not part of the transportation system vision,” the letter states. “The SCTRE project is inconsistent with current transportation system plans and regional transportation planning documents.” One of the major concerns OCTA executives has expressed with SCTRE is the possibility that Measure M-funded roadways will be converted to toll lanes.
(Source: Capestrano Dispatch, 1/10/2020)

In March 2020, Officials with the Transportation Corridor Agencies confirmed that out of all of the proposals for South County traffic relief, Alternative 22—an arterial, un-tolled road—would be the sole alternative that staff will recommend the board of directors to adopt. The South Country Traffic Relief Effort, which included a series of proposed routes—some of which intended to extend the Route 241 Toll Road through San Clemente and connect to I-5, while another would have extended Crown Valley Parkway to Route 241—were assembled to “improve north-south regional mobility in South Orange County and accommodate regional travel demand,” according to the California Department of Transportation. On March 3—California’s Primary Election Day—Assemblymember Bill Brough posted this announcement on his political Facebook page: “It looks like a Toll Road through San Clemente is dead.” “An email sent to my office states that TCA will vote to advance option 22, the Los Patrones extension, as an un-tolled highway, and that ‘no other alternatives would be further studied,’ ” Brough wrote. On March 12, it was confirmed that the TCA Board of Directors voted unanimously to further pursue the extension of Los Patrones Parkway—an arterial, untolled route—as part of the efforts to relieve South County traffic, formally removing the possibility of extending the 241 Toll Road through San Clemente.
(Source: Dana Point Times, 3/3/2020; SanClemente Times, 3/12/2020)

Los Patrones Parkway -- Defacto Route 241 Extension

Los Patrones ParkwayIn September 2018, it was reported that the first section of the new Los Patrones Parkway opened after the morning commute on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The road gives residents of the growing Rancho Mission Viejo and nearby South County neighborhoods another route for accessing the Route 241 toll road and other major roadways out of the region. The first completed phase of the 4.5-mile parkway connects Oso Parkway to Chiquita Canyon Drive. A later segment, expected to open this year, will connect south to Cow Camp Road. Rancho Mission Viejo funded the construction of the road, but it will be owned by the county. Los Patrones Parkway is a free public road. It had been discussed at one point as an extension of Route 241, but the county reached an agreement with San Clemente in 2017 reiterating the road will be free to drive. But, a project started earlier this summer to turn Oso Parkway into a bridge over Los Patrones will make it so drivers can connect straight to the toll road without having to encounter the stop lights at Oso Parkway. That $30 million county project is expected to be completed in 2020. Construction of the four-lane parkway included two wildlife crossings that will let animals walk under the road. The crossings are more than 200 feet long and are expected to be used by deer, bobcats, coyotes and other animals. There are additional paths under the road for smaller animals. The fencing was also designed with a tighter weave at the bottom to keep out smaller animals and it’s tall enough to bar larger animals.
(Source: OC Register, 9/11/2018)

A project in the making since 2004, Los Patrones Parkway (LPP) (formerly named “F” Street) was approved by the Orange County Board of Supervisors as an arterial highway providing traffic relief for future proposed development within Rancho Mission Viejo Community Development, LLC. (RMV) and South Orange County. LPP will be a newly built arterial highway with four lanes (two in each direction) with connections at Oso Parkway, Chiquita Canyon Drive, and Cow Camp Road. RMV is leading the $103 million LPP Project with regulatory oversight from OCPW, environmental agencies, and Caltrans District 12 (for the Oso Parkway connection). Currently, OCPW, is providing inspection services and, together with Caltrans District 12, will provide compliance oversight. The contractor was hired by RMV and construction is being administered by RMV. Construction of the project began in 2015 and completion is planned in 2018. Project grading is nearly complete. Phase 1, from Oso Parkway to Chiquita Canyon Drive, is scheduled for completion to be open for traffic in Spring 2018. Phase 2, from Chiquita Canyon Drive to Cow Camp Road, is planned to be completed 2018.
(Source: OC Public Works, July 2017)

In support of this project, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) and Orange County Public Works initiated a project to a portion of Oso Parkway with a new bridge structure to provide motorists with a direct connection between Los Patrones Parkway and Route 241. The new bridge will improve traffic flow and enhance safety on Oso Parkway and direct access to the 241 Toll Road will support traffic flow in the area. Construction of the Oso Parkway Bridge began in August 2018. The Oso Parkway Bridge Project consists of constructing an overcrossing bridge structure for a portion of Oso Parkway to allow the connection of Los Patrones Parkway to Route 241. The future bridge will contain six lanes (three in each direction), sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes for public use. Pedestrian access to Tesoro High School will be improved with the construction of a new sidewalk on the south side of Oso Parkway. Los Patrones Parkway will terminate at Oso Parkway via a northbound off ramp and a southbound on ramp. The Oso Parkway Bridge project includes constructing the roadway to connect the north end of Los Patrones Parkway to the Route 241 Toll Road under the bridge structure. Construction began in August 2018 and is expected to last approximately two years. Construction work is scheduled weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. with limited night work. Two lanes will remain open on Oso Parkway at all times.
(Source: TCA: Oso Parkway Bridge page, 11/17/2018)

At the end of December 2018, it was reported that one of the projects planned in Orange County was the Oso Parkway Bridge, where a portion of Oso Parkway at Los Patrones Parkway near Las Flores is being converted into a bridge to allow drivers to connect directly between Route 241 and Los Patrones Parkway. Period: Completion by Fall 2020. Cost: $30 million.
(Source: OC Register, 12/31/2018)

Los Patrones ParkwayIn October 2019, it was reported that the southern segment of Los Patrones Parkway opened to traffic in Rancho Mission Viejo on Thursday, Oct. 17. The completed project extended the parkway about a mile and a half from Chiquita Canyon Drive to Cow Camp Road. Officials completed the first phase of the project from Oso Parkway to Chiquita Canyon Drive in September 2018, and had expected to finish the entire length of construction that year. But winter rains slowed the pace. With the extension finished, the 4.5-mile, four-lane public road connects Rancho Mission Viejo residents, especially those in the Esencia neighborhoods, to Oso Parkway and the Route 241 toll road. OC Public Works is overseeing a $30 million project to turn Oso Parkway into a bridge and to connect the Route 241 toll road directly to Los Patrones Parkway. Drivers on Los Patrones should directly connect to the Route 241 toll road by spring 2020. The entire stretch of Los Patrones Parkway cost $98 million to construct, funding happened through a partnership between Rancho Mission Viejo, the county and the Transportation Corridor Agencies. The road will also be a link to Rancho Mission Viejo’s Planning Area 3. The area is named Rienda, which is Spanish for reins, reflecting the community’s equestrian heritage. The 2,000-acre area could be developed with up to 7,000 homes and 2 million square feet of commercial space. Rancho Mission Viejo will soon build a bridge to extend Cow Camp Road into the Rienda community. Cow Camp Road would ultimately connect to Ortega Highway, although that plan is years out. Los Patrones Parkway may go through another extension. Officials have proposed extending the road to Avenida La Pata as a way to address traffic in south county, instead of extending the Route 241 toll road to San Clemente. Several options are being studied.
(Source: OC Register, 10/18/2019)

In March 2020, TCA officials confirmed Alternative 22 would be exclusively recommended to the San Joaquin Hills (SJHTCA) and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors. Alternative 22, a road alignment plan that Orange County Board Supervisor and Chairperson Lisa Bartlett has previously sponsored, would connect the new Los Patrones Parkway from Cow Camp Road in Rancho Mission Viejo to Avenida La Pata, running along the east side of the Prima Deschecha Landfill. It would remain an un-tolled road. On March 12, the TCA board advanced a report that advocated an untolled extension of Los Patrones Parkway (Alternative 22 Untolled) for further consideration, which would provide significant traffic relief with minimal environmental and community impacts. Based on current traffic modeling and traffic projections, extending Los Patrones Parkway as an untolled county major thoroughfare accomplishes TCA’s efforts to complete the southern extension of the Route 241 Toll Road. As planned, the Route 241 Toll Road will transition into the untolled regional roadway network, similar to the Route 261 Toll Road and Jamboree Road.
(Source: Dana Point Times, 3/3/2020; APNews, 3/12/2020)

Cow Camp Road -- Defacto Route 241 Extension

Cow Camp Road is designated on the County of Orange Master Plan of Arterial Highways as an east-west Major and Primary Arterial Highway. Cow Camp Road is also part of the County of Orange-approved 2004 SCRIP plan. Upon its completion, Cow Camp Road will begin at Antonio Parkway (north of San Juan Creek) and extend to the east, ultimately connecting to Ortega Highway (Route 74), near Caspers Wilderness Park. It will intersect with Los Patrones Parkway, an important north-south arterial highway, which will connect to Oso Parkway at the north. Upon its total completion to Ortega Highway, Cow Camp Road will be four miles long and will provide three lanes in each direction for a total of six lanes. In addition, Cow Camp Road will provide a parallel route to the two-lane Ortega Highway, thereby providing commuter traffic relief and creating an alternative route due to occasional Ortega Highway flooding, accidents and other causes of closures.
(Source: Rancho Mission Viejo Transportation Fact Sheet, 2/2018)

Cow Camp Road Segment 1 is approximately 1.5 miles and runs east from Antonio Parkway to the eastern border of Esencia village (just past Los Patrones Parkway) on Rancho Mission Viejo. Segment 1 includes the construction of the Chiquita Canyon Bridge which spans 1,420 linear feet over Chiquita Creek and rises 75 feet above protected open spaces of Chiquita Canyon. Cow Camp Road Segment 2 is divided into multiple phases, the first two of which will be 1.5 miles in length and run extending east from the edge of Esencia village (from Las Patrones Parkway) to the future Planning Area 3 (PA-3) and include the construction of the bridge that will extend about 1,400 linear feet over Gobernadora Canyon. The remaining phases will extend Cow Camp Road easterly to Ortega Highway and are also in engineering design. The cost of Phases 2-A and 2-B is anticipated to be approximately $42 million with funding provided by a grant from OCTA ($14.3 million) and the remainder in assessments collected through Community Facilities Districts encompassing Rancho Mission Viejo property owners. Construction of the first two phases is expected to commence in spring 2018 in anticipation of completion in 2020.
(Source: Rancho Mission Viejo Transportation Fact Sheet, 2/2018)

La Pata Road Extension -- Defacto Route 241 Extension

Rancho Mission Viejo is also working to extend La Pata Road. The extension of La Pata Road from Ortega Highway, south to Avenida Vista Hermosa established an important South Orange County parallel to the I-5 Freeway, allowing commuters to bypass the I-5 as they travel from as far north as Rancho Santa Margarita via Antonio Parkway, and south to La Pata and San Clemente where they can connect to the I-5 Freeway from Avenida Vista Hermosa. In addition, the construction of Los Patrones Parkway establishes a new toll road-to-freeway network, starting from the current terminus of the Route 241 toll road at Oso Parkway heading south along Los Patrones Parkway, to Cow Camp Road, and then south again along Antonio Parkway/La Pata Road to Avenida Vista Hermosa.
(Source: Rancho Mission Viejo Transportation Fact Sheet, 2/2018)

Route 241 to Route 91 Connectors 12-ORA-241 (PM 36.1/39.1)

Rte 241 Rte 91 ConnectorsIn November 2016, it was noted that the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA), in coordination with Caltrans, is proposing to add a direct connector linking the northbound Route 241 Toll Road to the eastbound Route 91 Express Lanes and the westbound Route 91 Express Lanes to the southbound Route 241 Toll Road. The direct, median-to-median tolled connector would reduce traffic congestion in both directions, enhance safety by reducing weaving across lanes and improve access to toll lanes in Orange and Riverside Counties. The 60-day public comment period for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement closed on January 9, 2017. The Project Development Team is reviewing and evaluating all comments received. Responses to these comments will be included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) in approximately December 2017. (Note that as of March 2019, there were still no updates on this project).
(Source: District 12 Project Page)

According to the Draft SEIR, the Proposed Project, located at the junction of Route 241 and Route 91 in the cities of Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Corona, and the counties of Orange and Riverside, would provide improved access between Route 241 and Route 91, and is proposed to be a tolled facility. The proposed median-to-median connector project encompasses 12-ORA-241 (PM 36.1/39.1), 12-ORA-91 (PM 14.7/18.9), and 08-RIV-91 (PM 0.0/1.5) for a total length of approximately 8.7 miles (mi). The improvements for the connector include 5.9 mi in the cities of Anaheim and Yorba Linda and unincorporated Orange County, from south of Windy Ridge Wildlife Undercrossing on Route 241 to Coal Canyon Undercrossing on Route 91. The remaining 2.8 mi of the Proposed Project include signage improvements (advance signage) in the cities of Anaheim (1.2 mi), Yorba Linda (0.1 mi), and Corona (1.5 mi) and unincorporated Orange and Riverside counties, with exact placement of the signage pending the Final Design process. The Proposed Project is mostly within existing California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) right-of-way, with one partial acquisition required adjacent to eastbound Route 91. Construction access and staging areas would occur within existing Caltrans right-of-way and the partial acquisition adjacent to eastbound Route 91 as noted above. The objectives of the Proposed Project are to implement the buildout of the Eastern Transportation Corridor (ETC), attain compatibility with the Route 91 mainline and 91 Express Lanes configuration, improve operations and traffic flow between the 91 Express Lanes and the Route 241 general purpose connectors, help achieve the Regional Mobility Plan goals of reducing emissions from transportation sources, and enhance the efficiency of the tolled system, thereby reducing congestion on the non-tolled system on Route 91. The Proposed Project is needed to provide a direct connection between Route 241 and the 91 Express Lanes to accommodate the buildout of the ETC as well as existing and future transportation demand. The proposed median-to-median connector is a later phase of the ETC project, previously approved in 1994. It was originally evaluated as a Route 241/Route 91 highoccupancy vehicle (HOV) direct connector in the 1991 ETC Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIR/EIS), 1992 ETC Final EIR, and the 1994 ETC Final EIS (all of which studied a broader Project Area with improvements on Route 133, Route 241, and Route 261. There was only one build alternative and the no-build alternative.
(Source: Draft SEIR for Rte 241/Rte 91 Connectors, Project Alternatives Chapter)

The Build Alternative would construct a two-lane express lane median-to-median connector between Route 241 and Route 91, which would connect lanes from the median of northbound Route 241 to the existing eastbound median 91 Express Lanes and the reverse movement from the westbound median 91 Express Lanes to the median of southbound Route 241. The connector would be tolled. The Build Alternative would merge into the existing Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) 91 Express Lanes at Coal Canyon Undercrossing. The Riverside County Transportation Commission’s (RCTC) Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project (CIP) will extend the express lanes on Route 91 east to I-15. The Build Alternative is compatible with the approved Route 91 CIP for both the initial and ultimate configurations, including the number and widths of the express lanes, express auxiliary lanes, and general purpose lanes.

In December 2017, it was reported that OCTA leaders have pushed for a delay on any plans for a $180 million ramp linking the Route 241 toll road and Route 91 Freeway Express Lanes (~ ORA R16.184) over fears the project could increase congestion on both the freeway and the tollway that runs along the middle of it. The 10-3 vote by the Orange County Transportation Authority’s board requests that the Transportation Corridor Agencies – the public agency that runs the Route 241 toll road and is the driving force behind the proposed connector – slow down on plans for an elaborate ramp connecting the paid traffic lanes. Instead, the OCTA board directed its staffers to work with the Riverside County Transportation Commission to come up with big-picture proposals on how to improve the chronically congested traffic lanes on Route 91. The vote follows a recommendation earlier this month by the OCTA’s Executive Committee. It is unclear if the project could proceed without the backing of the OCTA, which owns the 91 Express Lanes. Rush-hour commuters coming from south and central Orange County going to Riverside County who are willing to pay tolls to avoid as much congestion as possible must choose: Take Route 241 and endure the Route 91 freeway, because drivers can’t enter the Route 91 Express Lanes at that point. Or endure traffic before reaching the Route 91 Express Lanes. It takes a long leg in the middle to take both. The ramp would connect the tollways in both directions, although public debate has focused on the eastbound direction. The Transportation Corridor Agencies touts the Route 241/Express Lanes connector as key to decreasing congestion, creating more efficient toll lanes and improving safety for drivers who would no longer have to weave over multiple lanes of traffic to move between Route 241 and 91 Express Lanes at the county border. That is the first place motorists coming from Orange County can exit the Express Lanes; they can enter it there, too. OCTA’s staffers, however, disagree. They say the connector would lure more motorists to the overall corridor, and create more weaving at the Orange County/Riverside County line. Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson questioned why if Caltrans thought the current freeway setup was so dangerous its officials didn’t do something about it when Route 241 was first built.
(Source: OC Register, 12/11/2017)

In December 2017, it was reported that Orange County Transportation Authority staffers fearful of increased congestion on the Route 91 freeway and the adjacent 91 Express Lanes want Route 241 toll road leaders to pump the brakes on plans for a $180 million ramp linking Route 241 and the Express Lanes. Further, an executive committee, comprised of seven OCTA board members, backed that opposition, preferring that the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which manages Route 241, to defer any work on the planned connector. Leaders of the Riverside County Transportation Commission have raised similar concerns about the elaborate ramp increasing traffic and congestion. The project would create a clear shot from Route 241, which runs between south and north Orange County along its eastern side, to the 91 Express Lanes that roll along the middle of Route 91 into Riverside County, bypassing typical freeway traffic the entire route for those willing to pay tolls. Caltrans, which serves as owner and operator of state freeways, has approved the draft environmental plan for the connector, said Caltrans spokeswoman Lindsey Hart. The agency is still analyzing traffic data and public comments about the connector to “determine the potential traffic benefits of the project,” she added. The TCA was hoping to complete the final design of the connector in early 2018. If approved, construction could begin in early 2019 and take about two years to complete.
(Source: Orange County Register, 12/17/2017)

In April 2019, it was noted that concerns about the Route 241/Route 91 transition have prompted Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) officials to add increased signage, and double white lines in an attempt to deter drivers from cutting into the NB Route 241 to EB Route 91 transition at the last minute. But even an increased number of law enforcement officers issuing citations doesn't seem to be deterring drivers from illegally cutting across the double white lines. TCA is also considering both short-term and long-term fixes to this problem. One option includes installing pylons, also called delineators or channelizers, between the eastbound and westbound transition lanes. A feasibility study is currently underway, but TCA would not give a time frame on the project. Ultimately, the decision on whether to install channelizers up to Caltrans. Caltrans is in discussions with TCA about the potential use of delineators, centering around various items including who will maintain them, what benefit they will add, and if they are safe to place at this location. They want to ensure that the delineators are set up in a way that those who are maintaining them can do so safely, as well as understanding the impacts that delineators can have on weaving (merging) vehicles, the study of current traffic patterns, and what types of traffic management actions will be needed to maintain the delineators. As noted above, the long-term fix is the dedicated connector. Construction could begin in 2021, with completion in 2023.
(Source: ABC 7, 4/16/2019)

In May 2019, it was reported that Caltrans received a 23-page letter from Riverside County transportation officials about all the things they think are wrong with plans for bridges that would let toll road drivers bypass lanes of traffic to get between the Route 241 and Route 91 freeways. The state agency and toll road officials say they’re taking seriously those concerns – also shared by Orange County’s transit agency – as they decide whether to start designing the $180 million ramps, but “as of now we are moving forward with the project,” Caltrans spokesman David Matza said. Riverside and Orange county officials fear solving backups on the Route 241 toll road will make things worse on the Route 91 unless the fixes they’re planning on the Riverside Freeway are done first. They also question traffic study data they say is too old and inconsistent. The four agencies appear set for a turf battle: on one side are Caltrans, which owns the state highway system, and the Transportation Corridor Agencies, which manage Orange County’s toll roads; on the other, the Riverside and Orange county transit agencies, which have typically taken the lead on long-term planning and funding for new local freeway projects. Everyone agrees building a direct path between the Route 241 toll road and Route 91 express lanes ultimately would help clear backups and improve safety. Toll road officials want to solve congestion near the Route 241 Windy Ridge toll plaza, where northbound cars are funneled onto the eastbound Route 91. Using the existing medians, the proposed bridges would provide a direct route into the 91 express lanes; in the other direction, there’s currently no way to get from the westbound Route 91 express lanes to southbound Route 241. Orange and Riverside county transit officials want time to do three other projects intended to loosen choke points between I-15 and the Orange County line: building another westbound lane on Route 91 from Green River Road to Route 241; adding ramps to move cars from the Route 91 express lanes to the I-15; and replacing a hairpin-turn offramp from Route 91 east to Route 71 north with a flyover ramp that wouldn’t slow traffic as much. If TCA’s new ramps are built and opened first, they could dump hundreds more cars into the Route 91 express lanes at peak drive times, forcing some drivers into already crowded general purpose lanes, Orange County Transportation Authority spokesman Joel Zlotnik said. (Drivers would pay an additional toll to use the new bridges.) The timeline for at least one of the projects on Route 91 remains uncertain. The added westbound lane and I-15 connector project could be done in 2022, but officials don’t yet have funding for construction of the Route 71 interchange. Caltrans is nearly done with the environmental analysis, after which design can begin. A two-year construction schedule could wrap up in 2023.
(Source: OC Register (Paywall), 5/22/2019)

In November 2019, it was reported that OCTA approved an agreement with the Riverside County Transportation Commission, Transportation Corridor Agencies and Caltrans that lays the groundwork for the construction of a tolled connector between the Route 241 Toll Road and the Route 91 Express Lanes. The agreement is a result of several months of discussions and sets the stage for traffic relief, while ensuring the project smoothly integrates with others planned in Orange and Riverside counties, including the Route 91 Express Lanes/I-15 Connector and the Route 91 Corridor Operations Project. The proposed project would connect the Route 241 Toll Road directly with the Route 91 Express Lanes, about 2 miles west of the Orange County border with Riverside County. Construction of the connector is anticipated to begin in 2023.
(Source: OCTA Blog, 11/6/2019)

In May 2020, the CTC approved for future consideration of funding a project for which a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR) has been completed: Route 241 and Route 91 in Orange and Riverside Counties. Construct a tolled facility between Route 241 and Route 91 in Orange and Riverside Counties. (EA 0K9700) The project is located in the cities of Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Corona in Orange and Riverside counties. The project proposes to improve access and reduce congestion at the Route 241/Route 91 interchange by providing a direct connector between Route 241 Toll Road and the
Route 91 Express Lanes. The estimated project cost is $182,298,000. Construction is estimated to begin Fiscal Year 2022-2023. The Department, the Orange County Transportation Authority, the Riverside County Transportation Commission and the Toll Roads Corridor Agency support the project.
(Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(8))

According to the FSEIR, the purpose of the Proposed Project is to implement the build out of the Eastern Transportation Corridor (ETC), for which the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement was approved in 1994. The overall objective of the ETC project was to accommodate traffic growth associated with planned and approved development in Orange County. In addition to the originally intended objectives of the ETC, changed circumstances at the Route 241/Route 91 interchange have led to the following objectives for the Proposed Project: implement the built out of the ETC, as approved in 1994; attain compatibility with the Route 91 mainline and Route 91 Express Lanes; improve traffic flow and operations by reducing weaving across multiple general purpose lanes between the Route 91 Express Lanes and the Route 241 general lane connectors; and enhance the efficiency of the tolled system, thereby reducing congestion on the non-tolled system on Route 91. The need for the Proposed Project is to address roadway deficiencies including: peak-hour demand exceeding capacity between the Route 241 and Route 91 connectors, lack of connectivity between tolled/managed facilities, and weaving between general purpose connectors and median lanes reducing traffic flow. Caltrans, in cooperation with the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA), proposes to construct a tolled direct connector between Route 241 and the Route 91 Express Lanes. Currently, there is no direct connection between the Route 241 toll road and the 91 Express Lanes.
(Source: May 2020 CTC Agenda, Agenda Item 2.2c.(8))

Classified Landcaped Freeway Classified Landcaped Freeway

The following segments are designated as Classified Landscaped Freeway:

County Route Starting PM Ending PM
Orange 241 24.71 25.20
Orange 241 25.25 26.85

Commuter Lanes Commuter Lanes

There are plans for Route 241 to have HOV lanes.

Exit Information Exit Information

Other WWW Links Other WWW Links

Status Status

Under Construction Portions of the route are under construction, but most of the route is now open.

There are regional transportation improvement plans to do further widening of this route between I-5 and Oso Parkway.

Naming Naming

This is the "Foothill Transportation Corridor" and the "Eastern Transportation Corridor".

Freeway Freeway

[SHC 253.1] Entire route.

Statistics Statistics

Overall statistics for Route 241:

Pre-1964 Legislative Route Pre-1964 Legislative Route

In 1959, Chapter 32 defined LRN 241 as “[LRN 2] near San Ysidro to [LRN 2] near the northwest boundary of the City of San Diego, easterly of existing [LRN 2]”. The urgency language noted that this was "north-south" belt-line route around the heavily populated portions of San Diego County, particularly the City of San Diego.

This is present-day I-805.


Acronyms and Explanations:


Back Arrow Route 240 Forward Arrow Route 242

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