IRVINE, Calif. - May 9, 2019
The Joint San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA) and Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Boards of Directors unanimously voted to approve a one-year contract extension with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) for Toll Enforcement Patrol Services for a combined not-to-exceed amount of $465,000.
The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) uses license plates imaging to process transactions of vehicles when a transponder is not detected or is invalid on State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261. When a license place is not properly mounted to the vehicle, TCA’s systems cannot process the transaction, resulting in revenue loss. In Fiscal Year 2018, 265,000 no-plate transactions were processed totaling $12 million in lost revenue.
CHP’s presence serves as a deterrent to toll violators and keeps The Toll Roads safe. In addition to monitoring The Toll Roads’ vehicles without properly mounted license plates, CHP officers also look for vehicles with obscured or covered license plates, egregious violators, and support good driver behavior when queuing occurs on the 241 northbound connector to State Route 91 eastbound.
Since the State has implemented a temporary license plate program for newly-sold vehicles, TCA has seen a continuous decline in no-plate transactions, but additional monitoring is needed to ensure an adequate level of compliance. TCA will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of the state’s temporary license plate program in preventing or reducing toll evasion and report back to the Board.
TCA Project Engineer Paul Bopp updated the Boards of Directors on the status of the Oso Parkway Bridge Project, an overcrossing bridge structure providing drivers a seamless connection to the 241 Toll Road via Los Patrones Parkway.
The future bridge will support regional mobility and improve traffic flow in the area with six lanes (three in each direction), sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes for public use. Pedestrian access to Tesoro High School will also be improved with the construction of a new sidewalk on the south side of Oso Parkway.
Construction began on August 1, 2018 with completion expected in August 2020. The project is now 40 percent complete and 12 days ahead of schedule, despite losing 23 working days due to rainstorms this winter. Major milestones accomplished include shifting traffic to the south side of Oso Parkway; relocating utilities and installing drainage systems; pile driving, pouring concrete for walls and columns and constructing the north bridge deck.
Next steps include completing construction of the north half of the bridge and shifting traffic onto the north side, erecting falsework to support the south bridge construction and paving the gap closure.
“This project is an important example of partnership at work,” said F/ETCA Chairwoman Christina Shea. “I’m proud of our agency for overcoming severe weather conditions this winter to pushing ahead toward completing the Oso Bridge Project ahead of schedule.”
At the conclusion of the May Joint Board Meeting, Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agencies (F/ETCA) Chairwoman Christina Shea adjourned the meeting in memory of San Clemente Mayor and former TCA Board Member Steven Swartz.
Born and raised in Southern California, Swartz graduated from Carson High School, played football for EI Camino College and enlisted in the Air Force during Vietnam. He had over 45 years of experience in the financial/banking industry and owned a business in San Clemente since 1989 and a home in Forster Ranch since 1993.
Swartz was an active community leader in San Clemente and throughout the region for many years. He served as a member of and President of the Flora Vista Home Owners Association, served as a member and Chairman of the San Clemente Beaches, Parks and Recreation Commission, served as an original member of San Clemente’s Coastal Advisory Committee and have been a member of and served as President of the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary. Swartz was elected to the City Council in 2016 and appointed mayor in December 2018. In addition to serving on the council, Mayor Swartz served as a Director and Alternate for both the SJH and F/ETCA Boards. He will be remembered as a passionate, hardworking leader who served his constituency with pride as a dedicated public servant.
At their May 9 meeting, under the Consent Calendar, the SJHTCA and F/ETCA Boards of Directors voted to adopt an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) policy for managing TCA’s 17 mitigation sites to incorporate the use of organic, non-toxic pesticides.
At the request of the Boards earlier this year, staff developed the IPM policy to enhance the health and safety of native habitat, animal species and the general public, using a prioritized approach for lands management. The new policy focuses on long-term pest prevention and suppression while minimally impacting people and the environment.
Among the IPM’s guiding principles are the use of organic pesticides in all TCA mitigation properties; limiting pesticide exposure where children and general public congregate; using mechanical methods as primary means of pest control; and using EPA Level pesticides only as a last resort and in a targeted manner.
TCA remains committed to balancing construction and operation of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads with the preservation of more than 2,100 acres of open space and wildlife habitat in Orange County.