California State Route 261
|Eastern Transportation Corridor|
Eastern Toll Road
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 561|
|Maintained by Caltrans and TCA|
|Length||6.20 mi (9.98 km)|
|South end||Walnut Avenue and Jamboree Road in Irvine|
SR 241 near Orange
State Route 261 (SR 261) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that is part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor toll road system in Orange County. It runs from Walnut Avenue and Jamboree Road in Irvine to State Route 241, another highway of the Eastern Transportation Corridor. SR 261 does not directly connect with Interstate 5 in Irvine, as surface streets must be used to make the connection.
The southern end of SR 261 is at an interchange with Jamboree Road near Walnut Avenue. SR 261 passes under I-5 but does not have an interchange with it. The toll road continues next to The Market Place, an outdoor shopping center straddling the border of Irvine and Tustin, before going through a toll plaza after the Irvine Boulevard interchange. Following this is the Portola Parkway exit, after which SR 261 briefly enters the city of Orange and has an interchange with Santiago Canyon Road (CR S18). In the middle of this interchange, SR 261 merges with SR 241; the latter continues north towards SR 91.
SR 261 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, and is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.
The California State Legislature added SR 231 to the state highway system in 1988; it was a route from I-5 around the Tustin–Irvine boundary to SR 91. In 1991, the Legislature renumbered part of SR 231 to be SR 261. Five years later, SR 231 was renumbered to SR 241, and the southern terminus with I-5 was changed to become Walnut Avenue.
SR 261 employs a barrier toll system, where drivers are charged flat-rate tolls based on what particular toll booths they pass through. Since May 13, 2014, the road has been using an all-electronic, open road tolling system. And on October 2, 2019, the license plate tolling program, under the brand name "ExpressAccount", was discontinued. Drivers may still pay using the FasTrak electronic toll collection system, via a one time payment online, or in person at Transportation Corridor Agencies's customer service center in Irvine. Those using Fastrak are charged a lower toll than those using the other two methods. Drivers must pay within 5 days after their trip on the toll road or they will be assessed a toll violation.
There is one mainline toll gantry at Irvine Ranch. As of July 2019[update], the gantry uses a congestion pricing scheme based on the time of day for FasTrak users, while non-FasTrak drivers must pay the maximum toll for peek weekday hours ($3.19 for the standard two-axle car), regardless of the day and time. Tolls are also collected at a flat rate at selected on-and off-ramps: Irvine Blvd's northbound onramp ($2.59), northbound offramp ($2.04), and southbound onramp ($2.04); and Portola Parkway ($2.59, free on the northbound offramp).
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was when the route was established, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary ( ). Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in Orange County.
|Irvine||0.00||–||Jamboree Road south||Continuation beyond Walnut Avenue|
|0.00||–||Walnut Avenue / Edinger Avenue||Southern terminus|
|0.24||–||Jamboree Road north to I-5||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|1.64||2||Irvine Boulevard||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Irvine Ranch Mainline toll gantry|
|2.85||3||Portola Parkway||Tolled southbound exit and northbound entrance|
Santiago Canyon Road / Chapman Avenue (CR S18) to SR 241 south
|Northbound exit and southbound entrance; exit 33 on SR 241|
SR 241 north (Eastern Transportation Corridor)
|Northern terminus; exit 32 on SR 241 south|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- California Highways
- California Highways
- Orange County Road Atlas (Map). Thomas Brothers. 2008.
- "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Los Angeles, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
- Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
- California State Assembly. "An act to add Sections 188.4 and 531 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation". 1987–1988 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1364.
- California State Assembly. "An act...relating to highways". 1991–1992 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 775.
- California State Assembly. "An act to amend Section 564 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 19993.7 of, and to add Section 65088.5 to, the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11474, 44013.5, and 44521 of, and to repeal Sections 39047.4..." 1995–1996 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1154.
- "All Electronic Tolling". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
- "ExpressAccount". Transportation Corridor Agencies. October 2, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- "Ways to Pay Tolls". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- "The Toll Roads Rate Card" (PDF). Transportation Corridor Agencies. July 1, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.
- California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
- California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, SR-261 Northbound and SR-261 Southbound, accessed February 2008
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