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Toll Road Faces Uphill Path

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Aired 4/19/09

A proposal to cut a 16-mile highway through the San Onofre State Beach faces several hurdles. Supporters say the toll road is needed to reduce congestion on I-5. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more. 

Environmental groups worry the road will diminish the water quality of the nearby surf breaks at Trestles. The Surfrider Foundation and other groups have sued to stop the project. The groups say the road would harm the San Onofre State Beach, a nearby campground and would also disturb the home of several endangered species. Matt McClain is with the Surfrider Foundation in Orange County.

McClain: One of the things we're looking for is for them, if they are going to complete this toll road is to at least consider other alternatives or other alignments that would be less harmful to our environment, to the watershed resources and to our state park.

The Transportation Corridor Agencies board last month shifted the toll road construction date to early 2011. Tollway officials need permits and approvals from a long list of federal and state agencies, including the California Coastal Commission, before the project can move ahead. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

(Photo: San Onofre Atomic Power Plant. David McNew/Getty Images )

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