|Defined by Streets and Highways Code § 541|
|Maintained by Caltrans and TCA|
|Length||24.534 mi (39.484 km)|
|South end||Oso Parkway and Los Patrones Parkway near Las Flores|
SR 133 near Irvine
SR 261 in Orange
|North end||SR 91 in Anaheim|
State Route 241 (SR 241) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California that is a toll road for its entire length within Orange County in the Greater Los Angeles urban area. Its southern half from near Las Flores to near Irvine is the Foothill Transportation Corridor, while its northern half to the State Route 91 at the Anaheim-Yorba Linda line is part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor. State Route 241 connects with the other two highways of the Eastern Transportation Corridor, State Route 133 and State Route 261.
SR 241 runs along two tollways: its southern half is the 12-mile (19 km) Foothill Toll Road (also called the Foothill Transportation Corridor) and its northern half is part of the Eastern Toll Road (or Eastern Transportation Corridor).
The toll road begins at its interchange with Oso Parkway near Las Flores, while the right-of-way continues south as Los Patrones Parkway. The 241 then heads northward through Rancho Santa Margarita and the eastern areas of Lake Forest before reaching Irvine. It then runs along the eastern edge of Irvine, meeting SR 133 (Eastern Transportation Corridor). It is here at the SR 133 interchange that both the Foothill Toll Road and SR 133 end, and SR 241 continues north as the Eastern Transportation Corridor. The 241 then meets SR 261 near Irvine Lake before turning northeastward towards its northern terminus at SR 91 at the Anaheim-Yorba Linda line near the Santa Ana River.
SR 241 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, but is not part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.
The toll road was constructed by the Transportation Corridor Agencies, also known as the TCA, and is owned by the state of California. Construction was financed with bonds, which are repaid with toll revenues. Taxpayers are not responsible for repaying any debt if toll revenues fall short.
Foothill-South was planned as the last segment of the road, and the final piece in Orange County's planned 67-mile (108 km) network of public toll roads. The extension would provide an alternate route from State Route 91 to Interstate 5 for those traveling from Riverside County and through southeast Orange County north to San Diego County. Proponents of the project, including a coalition of chambers of commerce, argue it would provide greater access for communities such as Foothill Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, Las Flores, Coto de Caza, Wagon Wheel and Rancho Mission Viejo.
A proposed route would have extended the toll road to connect to Interstate 5 at the San Diego County line near San Onofre, where the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) projects traffic to increase 60 percent by 2025. The TCA estimates that by 2025, Foothill-South would alleviate traffic on Interstate 5 by 2.6% - 8%. This route was selected by a collaborative group that included the Federal Highway Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, Fish & Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and Caltrans. Initially, the plan would have placed the final 4 miles (6.4 km) of the roadway on Camp Pendleton Marine Base, as wall as through a section of San Onofre State Beach, which is leased from the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Corps reserved the right to grant easements for rights of way when the lease with the California Department of Parks and Recreation was signed in 1971. Eventually, spokespeople from Camp Pendleton would deny permission to build the road on the base, but approved the road's construction through the portion of the base that hosts the state park. The TCA Board of Directors, local elected officials who represent the areas adjacent to the toll road routes, certified the project's Environmental Impact Report in 2006.
Many conservationists, environmental groups, and some residents of San Clemente opposed the extension to San Onofre State Beach. Former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed two lawsuits in 2006, one on behalf of the Native American Heritage Commission. A third lawsuit was filed by a coalition of several groups, including Sierra Club, the Surfrider Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council. It was later revealed that the TCA funded a study in support of removing the California gnatcatcher from the federal Endangered Species list, which would have made it easier to build the toll road extension.
On February 6, 2008, the California Coastal Commission voted 8-2 to reject the planned extension through San Onofre State Beach. The TCA appealed the Coastal Commission's decision to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. On December 18, 2008, the Department of Commerce announced that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's ruling that found the TCA's proposed extension inconsistent with the California Coastal Act. In a release issued by the Department of Commerce, the DOC noted that at least one reasonable alternative to the project existed, and that the project was not necessary in the interest of national security.
In November 2016, the TCA reached a legal settlement ending the 15-year dispute with the more than a dozen environmental organizations as well as the State of California. The settlement guaranteed that any roadway would avoid the Donna O'Neill Land Conservatory, the San Onofre State Beach Park, and other environmentally sensitive areas. In return, the environmental organizations have agreed not to sue the TCA over other potential alignments that connect the 241 Toll Road to the I-5 freeway as long as the alignments do not enter the "environmental avoidance area."
Rancho Mission Viejo, which has publicly condemned all the proposed alignments of the SR 241 extension, helped to fund the construction of a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) four-lane toll-free freeway known as Los Patrones Parkway. The road, maintained by Orange County, follows the same alignment as the proposed Tesoro Extension of SR 241 between Oso Parkway and Cow Camp Road. Rancho Mission Viejo provided $85 million of the total estimated cost of $100 million for the construction of the road. Los Patrones Parkway also includes a new multi-purpose pathway on the west side of the highway between Oso Parkway and Chiquita Canyon Drive, two wildlife crossings under the road, wildlife fencing, and the replanting of over 100 acres of vegetation. However, local environmental groups expressed concerns that the TCA may acquire Los Patrones Parkway in the future in order to extend SR 241 southward.
On August 10, 2018, the Orange County Public Works began construction on a $30 million project to turn a section of Oso Parkway into a bridge to allow for a direct connection between SR 241 and Los Patrones Parkway. The new interchange was completed in mid-January 2021.
Los Patrones Parkway was built in two phases. Phase 1 of the road between Oso Parkway and Chiquita Canyon Drive opened on September 12, 2018. However, due to significant rainfall, the opening of Phase 2 of the road between Chiquita Canyon Drive and Cow Camp Road was delayed twice from the planned deadline of late-2018, and did not open until October 17, 2019.
Meanwhile, the TCA continued to explore alternative options to extend the toll road through San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente to Interstate 5. After facing opposition, the TCA Board of Directors voted unanimously on March 12, 2020 to support a proposal to extend the county's toll-free Los Patrones Parkway south to Avenida La Pata near the San Clemente city limit.
In 2021, state senator Patricia Bates introduced a bill to remove the Oso Parkway-to-Interstate 5 segment from SR 241's legal definition, which would permanently kill any plan to convert Los Patrones Parkway to a toll road or any other plan to extend SR 241.
SR 241 employs a barrier toll system, where drivers are charged flat-rate tolls based on what particular toll booths they pass through. Since May 13, 2014, the road has been using an all-electronic, open road tolling system. And on October 2, 2019, the license plate tolling program, under the brand name "ExpressAccount", was discontinued. Drivers may still pay using the FasTrak electronic toll collection system, via a one time payment online, or in person at Transportation Corridor Agencies's customer service center in Irvine. Those using Fastrak are charged a lower toll than those using the other two methods. Drivers must pay within 5 days after their trip on the toll road or they will be assessed a toll violation.
There are two mainline toll gantries: the Tomato Springs Mainline gantry just south of the SR 133 interchange, and the Windy Ridge Mainline gantry to the south of the SR 91 interchange. As of July 2019congestion pricing scheme based on the time of day for FasTrak users, while non-FasTrak drivers must pay the maximum toll for peek weekday hours ($4.23 for the standard two-axle car at Windy Ridge, $4.04 at Tomato Springs, $3.04 at Portola Parkway-North) regardless of the day and time. Tolls are also collected at a flat rate at selected on-and off-ramps: the southbound exits and northbound entrances of Oso Pkwy ($2.49) and Antonio Parkway ($1.74); and the northbound exits and southbound entrances of Los Alisos Boulevard ($1.64), Portola Parkway-South ($1.74), and Alton Parkway ($2.59)., both gantries, and the northbound exit and southbound entrance at Portola Parkway-North use a
Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was when the route was established, based on the alignment that existed at the time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then, M indicates a second realignment, L refers an overlap due to a correction or change, and T indicates postmiles classified as temporary (). Segments that remain unconstructed or have been relinquished to local control may be omitted. The entire route is in Orange County.
|Las Flores||14.55||14||Oso Parkway / Los Patrones Parkway south||Interchange; tolled|
|Rancho Santa Margarita||17.77||18||Antonio Parkway||Tolled southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|18.49||19||Auto Center Drive / Santa Margarita Parkway||Auto Center Drive not signed northbound|
|20.08||20||Los Alisos Boulevard||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Lake Forest||21.80||22A||Portola Parkway||Signed as exit 22 northbound; tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|||22B||Lake Forest Drive||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|23.42||23||Alton Parkway||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Irvine||24.97||25||Portola Parkway west - Irvine||Tolled northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|||||Tomato Springs Mainline gantry|
SR 133 south to I-5 - Laguna Beach
|Tolled southbound exit and northbound entrance; northern terminus of SR 133|
|Orange||32.54||33||Santiago Canyon Road (CR S18) / Chapman Avenue (CR S25)|
SR 261 south - Irvine
|Northbound access from exit 33; northern terminus of SR 261|
|||36.10||Windy Ridge Mainline gantry|
|Anaheim-Yorba Linda line||39.08||39||SR 91 (Riverside Freeway) - Riverside, Los Angeles||Signed as exits 39A (east) and 39B (west); exits 40-41B on SR 91|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|