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Orange County-San Diego Turnpike Plan Delayed

It will take at least two years longer than expected to get funding and permits for a toll road passing through San Onofre State Beach, transit planners said.

Officials with the Transportation Corridor Agencies said Wednesday that they will miss their 2008 target to secure funding for the Foothill South turnpike that will complete Orange County's network of toll roads and link Orange and San Diego counties.

The agency underestimated how much time it would take to get the necessary permits and agreements from state and federal wildlife agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, toll road spokeswoman Lisa Telles said.

The permits and agreements are crucial for funding and eventual approval by the state Coastal Commission, she said.

The agency also faces a lawsuit by the state attorney general's office alleging the road would come too close to an ancient Native American burial ground, among other legal challenges.

Environmentalists have also attacked the proposed extension because it cuts through one of the state's most popular parks and campgrounds.

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