California State Route 241
|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 541|
|Maintained by Caltrans and TCA|
|Length||24.534 mi (39.484 km)|
|South end||Oso Parkway in Las Flores|
SR 133 near Irvine
SR 261 in Orange
|North end||SR 91 in Anaheim|
State Route 241 (SR 241) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that is a toll road for its entire length within Orange County in the Greater Los Angeles urban area. Its southern half from Ladera Ranch to near Irvine is the Foothill Transportation Corridor, while its northern half to the State Route 91 at the Anaheim–Yorba Linda line is part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor. State Route 241 connects with the other two highways of the Eastern Transportation Corridor, State Route 133 and State Route 261.
The Foothill Toll Road (also called the Foothill Transportation Corridor) is a 12-mile (19 km) tollway in Orange County. Signed as State Route 241, it travels parallel to Interstate 5, connecting the Eastern Toll Road (at the State Route 133/State Route 241 interchange) outside of Irvine with Oso Parkway near Mission Viejo.
The toll road was constructed by the Transportation Corridor Agencies, also known as the TCA, and is owned by the state of California. Construction was financed with bonds, which are repaid with toll revenues. Taxpayers are not responsible for repaying any debt if toll revenues fall short.
The route begins at Oso Parkway near Las Flores and Tesoro High School and heads northward. The toll road enters Rancho Santa Margarita, crossing El Toro Road without an exit. Heading north, SR 241 passes through Irvine before meeting SR 133, another toll road. The toll road meets SR 261 near Irvine Lake before turning northeastward. SR 241 meets its terminus at SR 91 near the Santa Ana River.
SR 241 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, but is not 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.
Foothill-South was planned as the last segment of the road, and the final piece in Orange County's planned 67-mile (108 km) network of public toll roads. It has been the subject of regional planning efforts for more than 20 years.
The extension would provide an alternate route to Interstate 5 for those traveling from Riverside, Corona and southeast Orange County to points southward as well as those traveling from North San Diego County northward. Proponents of the project, including a coalition of chambers of commerce, argue it would provide greater access for communities such as Foothill Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores, Coto de Caza, Wagon Wheel and the future Rancho Mission Viejo. The TCA Board of Directors, local elected officials who represent the areas adjacent to the toll road routes, certified the project's Environmental Impact Report in 2006.
The route would have extended the toll road to connect to Interstate 5 at the San Diego County line near San Onofre, where the TCA projects traffic to increase 60 percent by 2025. The final four miles (6 km) of the roadway would have been located on Camp Pendleton Marine Base. The road would have gone through a section of San Onofre State Park, which is leased from the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps reserved the right to grant easements for rights of way when the lease with the California Department of Parks and Recreation was signed in 1971. Eventually, spokespeople from Camp Pendleton would deny permission to build the road on the base, but approved the road's construction through the portion of the base that hosts the state park. The TCA estimates that by 2025, Foothill-South would alleviate traffic on Interstate 5 by 2.6% - 8%.
On February 6, 2008, the California Coastal Commission voted 8-2 to reject a 16-mile (26 km) southern segment of the 241, Foothill-South, which was planned for the Foothill Toll Road. The TCA appealed the Coastal Commission's decision to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. On December 18, 2008, the Department of Commerce announced that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's ruling that found the TCA's proposed extension of the 241 Toll Road inconsistent with the California Coastal Act. In a release issued by the Department of Commerce, the DOC noted that at least one reasonable alternative to the project existed, and that the project was not necessary in the interest of national security.
Los Patrones Parkway
Rancho Mission Viejo, which has publicly condemned all the proposed alignments of the SR 241 extension, helped to fund the construction of a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) four-lane toll-free freeway known as Los Patrones Parkway. Rancho Mission Viejo provided $85 million of the total estimated cost of $100 million for the construction of the road, which is being built in two phases and will be maintained by Orange County. The road also follows the same alignment as the proposed Tesoro Extension of SR 241 between Oso Parkway and Cow Camp Road. The project also includes a new multi-purpose pathway on the west side of the highway between Oso Parkway and Chiquita Canyon Drive, two wildlife crossings under the road, wildlife fencing, and the replanting of over 100 acres of vegetation. However, local environmental groups have also expressed concerns that the TCA may acquire Los Patrones Parkway in the future in order to extend SR 241 southward.
On August 10, 2018, the Orange County Public Works began construction on a $30 million project to turn a section of Oso Parkway into a bridge to allow for a direct connection between SR 241 and Los Patrones Parkway. The project was completed in mid-January 2021.
Phase 1 of the road between Oso Parkway and Chiquita Canyon Drive opened on September 12, 2018. However, due to significant rainfall, the opening of Phase 2 of the road between Chiquita Canyon Drive and Cow Camp Road was delayed twice from the planned deadline of late-2018 to late-2019. Phase 2 of the road between Chiquita Canyon Drive and Cow Camp Road opened on October 17, 2019.
The original extension, which went around San Clemente to the east and south, was opposed by many conservationists, environmental groups, and some residents of San Clemente. Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed two lawsuits in 2006, one on behalf of the Native American Heritage Commission. A third lawsuit was filed by a coalition of several groups, including Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council. In November 2016, The TCA reached a legal settlement ending a 15-year dispute with the more than a dozen environmental organizations as well as the State of California. The settlement guaranteed that any roadway would avoid the Donna O'Neill Land Conservatory, the San Onofre State Beach Park, and other environmentally sensitive areas. In return, the environmental organizations have agreed not to sue the TCA over other potential alignments that connect the 241 Toll Road to the I-5 freeway as long as the alignments do not enter the "environmental avoidance area."
SR 241 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 are two mainline toll gantries: the Tomato Springs Mainline gantry just south of the SR 133 interchange, and the Windy Ridge Mainline gantry to the south of the SR 91 interchange. As of July 2019[update], both gantries, and the northbound exit and southbound entrance at Portola Parkway-North use 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 ($4.23 for the standard two-axle car at Windy Ridge, $4.04 at Tomato Springs, $3.04 at Portola Parkway-North) regardless of the day and time. Tolls are also collected at a flat rate at selected on-and off-ramps: the southbound exits and northbound entrances of Oso Pkwy ($2.49) and Antonio Parkway ($1.74); and the northbound exits and southbound entrances of Los Alisos Boulevard ($1.64), Portola Parkway-South ($1.74), and Alton Parkway ($2.59).
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.
|Las Flores||14.55||14||Oso Parkway / Los Patrones Parkway south||Interchange; tolled|
|Rancho Santa Margarita||17.77||18||Antonio Parkway||Tolled southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|18.49||19||Auto Center Drive / Santa Margarita Parkway||Auto Center Drive not signed northbound|
|20.08||20||Los Alisos Boulevard||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Lake Forest||21.80||22A||Portola Parkway||Signed as exit 22 northbound; tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|||22B||Lake Forest Drive||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|23.42||23||Alton Parkway||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Irvine||24.97||25||Portola Parkway west – Irvine||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|||||Tomato Springs Mainline gantry|
SR 133 south to I-5 – Laguna Beach
|Tolled southbound exit and northbound entrance; northern terminus of SR 133|
|Orange||32.54||33||Santiago Canyon Road (CR S18) / Chapman Avenue (CR S25)|
SR 261 south – Irvine
|Northbound access from exit 33; northern terminus of SR 261|
|||36.10||Windy Ridge Mainline gantry|
|Anaheim–Yorba Linda line||39.08||39||SR 91 (Riverside Freeway) – Riverside, Los Angeles||Signed as exits 39A (east) and 39B (west); exits 40-41B on SR 91|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
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- The Foothill-South Toll Road: Fact vs. Fiction
- Toll road must not interfere with base mission
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- Mcrea, Heather (August 10, 2018). "Construction starts to turn Oso Parkway into bridge, connect soon-to-open Los Patrones with 241 toll road". MediaNews Group, Inc. The Orange County Register. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Ponsi, Lou (September 12, 2018). "Los Patrones Parkway opens in hopes of easing South County commutes". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Raymundo, Shawn (February 8, 2019). "Weather Delays Completion of Los Patrones Parkway". The Capistrano Dispatch. The Capistrano Dispatch. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Raymundo, Shawn (September 27, 2019). "Los Patrones Sees Further Delays". The Capistrano Dispatch. The Capistrano Dispatch. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- Park, Jeong (October 18, 2019). "Second segment of Los Patrones Parkway opens in Rancho Mission Viejo". MediaNews Group Inc. The Orange County Register. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
- January 3, 2007 "Student protests 241 expansion," Orange County Register
- Clarke, Chris (September 21, 2016). "This Tiny Bird Scored a Win for Science". Redefine. KCET-TV. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
- "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.
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- 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-241 Northbound and SR-241 Southbound, accessed February 2008
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to California State Route 241.|
- Transportation Corridor Agencies
- California @ AARoads.com — State Route 241
- California Highways: SR 241
- Caltrans: Route 241 highway conditions