Hearing set on toll road bill in California

| 4/1/2003

A hearing is scheduled for April 7 on a bill that would allow private companies to build a toll road in the Los Angeles area. The hearing will take place before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB138, introduced by state Sen. W.J. Knight, R-Palmdale, specifically calls for a highway to relieve traffic problems along state Highway 138. The new highway would lie in the Highway 138 corridor between Palmdale and Victorville in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The Los Angeles Times said the freeway-style road would run along Avenue P-8 extending across the Antelope Valley's east side.

Under the bill, the company building the road could collect tolls to recover its costs, and would lease the road from the state for up to 35 years. However, California would retain ownership of the road. According to notes attached to the bill, accidents and fatalities on the highway have increased in recent years.