Five Orange County mayors and Huntington Beach's mayor pro tem signed a letter Tuesday pledging their opposition to proposed toll lanes on the 405 Freeway from Seal Beach through Costa Mesa.
Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans officials are considering three options for expanding the freeway, one of which includes the toll lanes. OCTA board members are expected to weigh the three options at an Aug. 13 meeting, with a vote scheduled for Sept. 24.
Caltrans officials have the final say on the project.
Fountain Valley Mayor John Collins, Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, Seal Beach Mayor Michael Levitt, Westminster Mayor Margie Rice, Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Dwyer signed the letter they plan to submit to OCTA officials.
Adding one non-toll lane in each direction from Euclid Street to the 605 Freeway would cost $1.3 billion, which is how much is left in the renewal of Measure M funding appropriated for the project, said OCTA spokesman Joel Zlotnik.
Option two, which the six cities support, would add two non-toll lanes in each direction and cost $1.4 billion, Zlotnik said.
The third option, which includes the toll lane, would go from the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa to the 605 Freeway and would cost $1.7 billion, Zlotnik said. It would also add a single free lane in each direction.
Motorists with three or more people in a vehicle would be allowed to use the toll lane for no charge, Zlotnik said.
Measure M money would be used to pay for the free lanes in each direction, but the remainder of the cost for the toll lane would be financed through bond sales that would be paid off with toll revenue, Zlotnik said.
OCTA officials say the third option would move the highest volume of traffic most efficiently, Zlotnik said.
-- City News Service