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Toll Roads Under State Scrutiny

Financial viability is questioned. Tolls on the highways are one of the nation's highest per mile.

Orange County's struggling toll roads are under state scrutiny, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

"I think they are in trouble," a local assemblywoman told the paper.

At issue is whether the roads can afford interest payments to private investors who own tollway bonds. A panel led by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer is investigating.

Ridership and income are well below projections, even though tolls have been raised frequently and now rank among the highest per mile in the nation, the Times said.

Meanwhile, a law firm that helped defeat a proposal to extend the 241 toll road into San Onofre State Park calls the highways "a time bomb waiting to happen." A lawyer for the firm predicted the toll roads' debt problems could lead to a default on bond payments or bankruptcy.

To read the full story, click here.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

Do you think the toll roads were a misstep for Orange County, or, given time, can they still be the solution to our traffic woes?

Andy O'Connor December 13, 2012 at 02:56 PM
LOL Afternoon Rush hour at the 241 at the 91 is always backed-up!! So they want more money to sit in traffic??? Add more drivers to get more revenue so more people sit in traffic??? The 73 Toll road is the anchor. The 241 is always busy whenever I look at it. Finally, the Toll Road CEO is making $300K salary per year!!!
Gary December 13, 2012 at 04:39 PM
If user fees were reduced back to something closer to the original fees, usage would go up significantly. The economy is tough and persons are avoiding unnecessary expenses which obviously include the toll road. I say let it go bankrupt and allow the citizens to assume it. There was no insurance on these bonds and if persons invested in an unwise manner, so be it. We don't get bailed out by the government when our personal investments fail and neither should these investors.
Gary December 13, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Another thing that pisses me off with the toll road is the flagrant double billing practices. Because of this practice, I am back to traveling surface streets and am seriously considering cancelling my account and returning my families'/business's three transponders. Here is just one example of the double billing practice. If a person travels south on the 241 through the Tomato Springs booth and exit at Santa Margarita Pkwy, this person will incur a $3.25 fee for this distance ($6.50 with a trailer). But, if this person exits and re-enters for any reason at Alton Pkwy or any location south of Tomato Springs, regardless of the time duration of the exit / re-entry, this person incurs a second fee to travel to the same Santa Margarita Pkwy exit for which they just paid to travel to at Tomato Springs. An exit and re-entry does not result in any greater toll road mileage usage and the fees charged should reflect mileage usage not exit/entry numbers. After reviewing my bills over the last several years, I have noted hundreds of double billing occurrences and I would love to see a lawyer take this inappropriate double billing practice to court as I'm sure I am only one of tens of thousands of persons that have been in-appropriately billed in this manner.
Carol Streeter December 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM
I agree!
Mel Miller January 06, 2013 at 06:33 AM
As a former coach operator for OCTA, who lives in Riverside, I never bought into the toll road extortion. It never would have saved enough time to make the toll worthwhile. I,ve seen traffic in the free lanes move faster than the toll lanes.

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