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U.S. Commerce Department rejects Foothill South toll road

The controversial Foothill South toll road, proposed to connect south Orange County with north San Diego County, was handed a major blow this morning when the U.S. Commerce Department announced it would uphold the state Coastal Commission's rejection of the plan.

Federal officials could only override the state's decision if the project had no alternatives or was necessary to national security, and the announcement this morning said neither of those criteria was met.

Today's decision is another -- and perhaps fatal -- setback for the proposed 16-mile turnpike, which had been blasted by environmentalists for cutting through a popular beachfront state park and lauded by transportation planners as vital to easing the region's gridlock.

The California Coastal Commission rejected plans for the road earlier this year, saying that the six-lane road -- which would run from Rancho Santa Margarita to Basilone Road at Camp Pendleton -- violated the state's coastal management program.

The toll road agency backing the plan "may pursue another route" consistent with coastal zone protections, according to the Commerce Department announcement. Since 1972, the department has ruled on 43 such appeals of state coastal zone decisions, overriding 14.

-- Susannah Rosenblatt

Comments () | Archives (51)

Doheny Long Board Surfing Association and the Coalition of Surfing Clubs wants to thank all those that have fought so hard to save Trestles. This is a wonderful step in the right direction to save a pristine coastal area that many enjoy and hopefully will be able to share with their children’s children.
Thank you Thank you Thank you

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