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Orange County Irvine
241 Toll Road connector to 91 Express Lanes scheduled after lengthy delay
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by Indy Staff
Issue 170 - 10/15/2019
The Transportation Corridor Agencies in coordination with Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority, has agreed on the order of 91 Freeway construction projects leading up to the adding a direct connector linking the 241 Toll Road to the 91 Express Lanes. The direct, median-to-median tolled connector would reduce traffic congestion in both directions, enhance safety by reducing weaving across lanes and improve access to toll lanes in Orange and Riverside Counties.

There is currently no direct connection between the 241 Toll Road and the 91 Express Lanes. The new 241/91 Express Connector will offer an alternative to the existing connector, which requires travel across five lanes to reach the 91 Express Lanes in Riverside County. The project is designed to reduce traffic congestion on the 91 general purpose lanes due to greater efficiency of the toll lanes and improve capacity between the 241 and 91 tolled systems, while reducing emissions from idling vehicles stuck in traffic.

Ridership on the Orange County Toll Roads system has increased dramatically in the last few years, posting 20% gains, with the Transportation Corridor Agencies reporting over $310 million in annual revenue, more than one million active Fast Track accounts and more than $1 billion in reserves for additional improvements or shortfalls.

The $180 million 241/91 connector was opposed by the Orange County Transportation Authority, with the executive committee voicing concerns that the project would increase traffic and congestion on an already busy 91 freeway. The opposition has caused a two year delay in the project, adding a public comment period, Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision before the project could move forward. The 241/91 connector is scheduled to open as early as 2023.

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