FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION: George Urch (714) 464-9125 (Cell)
STRONG OPPOSITION VOICED AT TOWN HALL FORUM ON CALTRANS’ TOLL LANE PROPOSAL FOR I-405 FREEWAY
Residents; Business Community; And Federal, State, County, And Local Elected Officials Tell Officials From 405 Freeway Cities Coalition
They Are Strongly Opposed To Caltrans’ Latest Toll Lane Proposal
COSTA MESA – Local residents; business community leaders; and federal, state, county, and city elected officials strongly voiced their opposition at a Town Hall Forum in Costa Mesa last Thursday evening regarding Caltrans’ latest proposal to add toll lanes on the I-405 Freeway.
The forum, which had a well-attended crowd of over 100 people, was sponsored by the 405 Freeway Cities Coalition, a group of six cities along the 405 freeway corridor (Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Westminster) and the unincorporated area of Rossmoor.
The cities have banded together to oppose Caltrans’ effort to add toll lanes along the stretch of the freeway between the SR-55 Freeway in Costa Mesa and the I-605 Freeway at the Los Angeles County border, and wanted to gather public input on the subject to pass along to OCTA, who will be discussing Caltrans’ proposal at their upcoming September 22 board meeting.
A large number of elected officials, including Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, State Assembly Members Allan Mansoor and Donald Wagner, former State Assemblyman Jose Solorio, Irvine Councilwoman Beth Krom, and a representative from U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal’s office joined with members of public in testifying in strong opposition to the toll lanes, saying they will negatively impact the corridor cities, their local business communities, and their residents.
After more than a decade of study, public outreach, and environmental review on ways to improve the I-405 freeway, OCTA and Caltrans are nearing the completion of a final environmental document that should be finished early next year regarding their intentions to expand the stretch of the freeway between the SR-55 Freeway at Costa Mesa and the I-605 Freeway at the Los Angeles County border. Present plans call for the construction of one new lane in each direction to improve through put, with the project to get underway in 2016 and be completed by 2020.
The OCTA Board of Directors is scheduled to consider Caltrans’ latest toll lanes proposal at their 9:00 A.M. board meeting on Monday, September 22 at their headquarters at 600 South Main Street in Orange. The Coalition urged interested members of the public to call OCTA at (714) 560-6282 to express their feelings regarding the issue.