SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — At least one Orange County official is seeking to hit the brakes on a proposal to replace carpool lanes in each direction of the 405 Freeway with two “express” toll lanes.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports Supervisor John Moorlach wants his colleagues on the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors to reconsider the plan.
The OCTA plans to build at least one new free lane in each direction of I-405, paid for with a half-cent sales tax that voters approved for transportation projects.
The full OCTA, which rejected the idea of adding toll lanes to that project last year, is set to vote Friday on the proposal with support — and some say even pressure — from Caltrans officials.
However, following a commission vote Monday, Moorlach — who is part of an apparent slim majority of board members who either reject tolls outright or want to take a step back — said the county should postpone a decision on tolls until March or April.
“My constituents are livid,” he said. “Everywhere I go, they’re saying, ‘We’re opposed to the toll roads.'”
Committee officials believe delaying a decision would allow the OCTA to secure assurances from Caltrans that any money raised by the tolls would stay in Orange County.
While Caltrans owns the freeway and has the final authority over any decision, some OCTA directors have expressed concern that Caltrans could enact tolls on its own and then take control of revenue.