Group votes against toll road through state park beach in California

| 2/7/2008

A California beach and state park that’s popular with surfers may not end up with a highway running through it after all. The proposed toll road, a 16-mile extension of state Route 241, would run through the San Onofre State Beach south of Long Beach and would carry spillover traffic from the congested Interstate 5.

The Associated Press reported that the California Coastal Commission voted 8 to 2 on Wednesday, Feb. 8, against the toll road project, saying it wouldn’t comply with federal or state law.

In the end, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported, the majority of commissioners agreed with the agency’s staff, which concluded the $875 million four-lane road should be rejected because it would destroy natural habitats, wetlands and access to public recreation areas.

Opponents say the highway would ruin the surfing at Trestles, a famous surfing spot, and threaten several species of wildlife. Supporters say they’ll appeal the commission’s ruling to the U.S. Commerce Department.