IRVINE, Calif. - January 7, 2020
Today, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), approved the 241/91 Tolled Express Lanes Connector’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement, officially completing the environmental phase of the project.
“Transportation planning is a shared responsibility in Orange County; completing the environmental phase of the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector shows that effective collaboration between Caltrans, the Transportation Corridor Agencies and other local agencies results in more mobility options for everyone who travels to and within Orange County,” said Christina Shea, Chairwoman of the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors.
“Improving commutes, enhancing safety and reducing congestion on both State Routes (SR) 91 and 241 requires ongoing collaboration on a comprehensive program of projects,” said Orange County Third District Supervisor Don Wagner. “Collectively, our region’s transportation agencies are committed to delivering all planned projects within the SR-91 corridor in a way that provides the most benefit to the public as soon as possible, while also minimizing impacts for drivers and the community.”
As outlined in the Term Sheet Agreement last fall, TCA will fund the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector, Caltrans will construct the project, and the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) will operate the connector to integrate it into the 91 Express Lanes system.
“As the mayor of Orange and board member for both TCA and OCTA, I see and hear the frustration drivers face as they encounter the significant backup at the Windy Ridge Mainline Toll Point on the 241 Toll Road,” said Mark Murphy, F/ETCA Board Director. “Transportation planning and major infrastructure projects are always made better through public input and, in this case, proved to be critical in achieving this milestone to move forward with the 241/91 Express Lanes Connector.”
The 241/91 Express Lanes Connector project will construct a new direct, median-to-median tolled connector between SR-241 and the tolled lanes in the median of SR-91. The project will provide commuters the convenience and reliability of additional travel choices by allowing them to utilize either the available managed lanes on the 91 Express Lanes and 241 Toll Road or the general-purpose lanes, depending upon where they live and work. All this work is critical to provide congestion relief as employment, population and housing continue to grow in Southern California.
Working with Caltrans, OCTA and RCTC, TCA will now enter the design phase of the project. Construction of the tolled connector is expected to begin in 2023.
The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system. Fifty-one miles of the system are complete, including the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads. TCA continues to meet the region’s growing need for congestion-free transportation alternatives.