California State Route 73

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State Route 73 marker

State Route 73
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 373
Maintained by Caltrans and TCA
Length:17.764 mi[1] (28.588 km)
Existed:1996 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-5 in Mission Viejo
North end: I-405 in Costa Mesa
Highway system
SR 72SR 74
 
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State Route 73 marker

State Route 73
Route information
Defined by S&HC § 373
Maintained by Caltrans and TCA
Length:17.764 mi[1] (28.588 km)
Existed:1996 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-5 in Mission Viejo
North end: I-405 in Costa Mesa
Highway system
SR 72SR 74

State Route 73 (SR 73) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California, running from the junction with Interstate 405 in Irvine through the San Joaquin Hills to its junction with Interstate 5 in San Juan Capistrano, its northern and southern terminii, respectively. The entirety of the route is located in Orange County. From its northern terminus, the first three miles (5 km) of the highway are called the Corona del Mar Freeway; this section of highway opened in 1978. The next 12 miles (19 km) of the 15-mile (24 km) highway, completed in November 1996, are a toll road operated by the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency named the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor. Its alignment follows an approximately parallel path between the Pacific Coast and the San Diego freeways. There are no HOV lanes currently, but the medians have been designed with sufficient clearance for their construction should the need arise in the future.

Route description[edit]

State Route 73 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System.[2] SR 73 begins in San Juan Capistrano at an interchange with I-5. The freeway heads northwest into the city of Laguna Niguel before the tolled portion begins at the Greenfield Drive exit. SR 73 continues into the city of Aliso Viejo before entering Laguna Beach, where SR 73 intersects SR 133 with a separated-grade exit. Following this, the road passes through Crystal Cove State Park, where the main toll plazas are located. After leaving the state park, SR 73 straddles the border between Irvine and Newport Beach and provides easy access to University of California, Irvine through the Bison Avenue exit. Following the MacArthur Boulevard exit, the tolled part of the road ends. SR 73 continues into Newport Beach, running along the southern boundary of Orange County John Wayne Airport (IATA Airport Code SNA). Entering Costa Mesa, SR 73 interchanges with SR 55 before merging with I-405 and terminating the route.[3]

History[edit]

California State Route 73 climbs into the San Joaquin Hills, as seen looking southward from University Hills in Irvine. In the foreground is the Bonita Canyon Drive exit.

Most of State Route 73 is a limited-access toll highway designed to reduce congestion within Orange County on the Pacific Coast Highway (State Route 1) and the San Diego Freeway (Interstates 5, and 405) by providing a direct route through the San Joaquin Hills.

State Route 73 is not a toll road over its entire length. From its northbound terminus heading southbound, the first three miles (5 km) of State Route 73 have no tolls and make up the entire Corona Del Mar Freeway. State Route 73's previous alignment had the freeway portion end at MacArthur Boulevard, and the SR 73 designation ran along MacArthur south to meet Route 1 in Corona del Mar. Under the current alignment, heading southbound, State Route 73 becomes a designated toll road immediately after the Jamboree/MacArthur ramp and remains so until its southern terminus at I-5. Though the next ramp heading southbound (Bison Avenue) is part of the toll road, it is toll-free, as is the first ramp heading northbound from the southern terminus (Greenfield Drive).

Design and construction of the highway cost a total of $800 million. The design and construction was overseen by the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agencies, or SJHTCA, an agency formed in 1986 for the express purpose of designing the tollway. In the end, State Route 73 included 10 interchanges, 68 bridges, 725 000 square feet (67,000 m²) of retaining walls, and 32 million cubic yards (24,000,000 m³) of excavation at completion. Construction was divided into four different sections, each with its own management system and quality control. A joint venture led by Kiewit Pacific Co., a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation, completed this project.

State Route 73's toll road was the first to be financed with tax-exempt bonds on a stand-alone basis including construction and environmental risk.

Tolls[edit]

The tolls on SR 73 begin only after the Bison Ave. exit in the southbound direction. In the northbound direction, there is a toll in effect after Greenfield Drive, the first ramp north of the highway's terminus. The road employs an open, barrier-based tolling system. Travelers who drive the entire length of the 73 will only encounter one toll booth, the Catalina View Toll Plaza. Patrons who use an exit along the toll road are charged a prorated toll.

Since its inception, the San Joaquin Hills toll road has used the FasTrak electronic toll collection system, allowing drivers to travel the entire distance without stopping or even slowing down as their tolls are collected electronically by overhead radios reading the transponder mounted on the vehicle. Travelers using FasTrak pay a discounted toll. FasTrak patrons may also drive through cash-designated lanes at any toll plaza without stopping. The radio receivers overhead detect the vehicle before it even approaches the cash deposit area and automatically turns the traffic light green.

Beginning in Summer 2014, cash will no longer be accepted and the road will strictly use open road tolling only.[4] In addition to FasTrak, the Transportation Corridor Agencies will also use license plate tolling (under their brand name "ExpressAccount"), and a one time payment system for drivers to pay within 48 hours after their trip on the toll road.[5]

The following table lists the tolls at each of the tolled exits for passenger cars and other two-axle vehicles, both with and without FasTrak (as of July 1, 2013). Vehicles with more than two axles pay a higher toll at the Catalina View Toll Plaza.[6]

Toll BoothPay CashFasTrak
Bonita Canyon Dr
Southbound Exit and Northbound Entrance
$1.75$0.95
Newport Coast Dr
Southbound Exit and Northbound Entrance
$2.75$2.15
CATALINA VIEW TOLL PLAZA
Price assumes 2-axle automobile.
Peak: $6.75 Off-Peak: $6.00
Weekends: $5.75
Peak: $6.05 Off-Peak: $5.05
Weekends: $4.40
El Toro/Laguna Canyon Rd
Northbound Exit and Southbound Entrance
$3.00$2.40
Aliso Creek Rd
Northbound Exit and Southbound Entrance
$2.50$1.85
La Paz Road/Moulton Pkwy
Northbound Exit and Southbound Entrance
$1.75$1.30

Exit list[edit]

Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured on the road as it was in 1964, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage. R reflects a realignment in the route since then.[1] The entire route is in Orange County.

LocationPostmile
[1][7][8]
Exit
[9]
DestinationsNotes
Mission Viejo10.00 I-5 south (San Diego Freeway) – San DiegoSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Laguna Niguel11.762Greenfield Drive
Aliso Viejo12.913Moulton ParkwaySouthbound exit and northbound entrance
13.403La Paz Road
14.394Aliso Creek Road
15.255Pacific Park Drive, Glenwood DriveSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
16.256El Toro Road (CR S18)Signed as exit 7 southbound
 16.757 SR 133 (Laguna Canyon Road)Signed as exit 6 northbound
 18.70Catalina View toll plaza
Irvine21.4311Newport Coast Drive
22.4512Bonita Canyon Drive
 North end of toll road
23.4613Bison Avenue
Newport Beach23.8214AMacArthur Boulevard – Newport BeachSouthbound exit and northbound entrance; former SR 73 south
23.8214MacArthur Boulevard – John Wayne AirportNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
24.3614BUniversity DriveSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
R24.7815Jamboree RoadNo northbound exit
R25.4515Birch StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
R25.5816Campus Drive, Irvine AvenueSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Costa MesaR26.5817A SR 55 north (Costa Mesa Freeway)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R26.5817B SR 55 south (Costa Mesa Freeway)Signed as exit 17A southbound
R27.2817CBear StreetSigned as exit 17B southbound
 18BFairview RoadNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
 18AHarbor BoulevardNorthbound exit only
R27.81 I-405 north (San Diego Freeway) – Long BeachNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Staff. "State Truck Route List" (XLS file). California Department of Transportation. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ CA Codes (shc:250-257)
  3. ^ Thomas Brothers (2008). Orange County Street Atlas (Map).
  4. ^ "All Electronic Tolling". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Retrieved October 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Toll Roads Overview". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Retrieved December 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Toll Roads Rate Card". July 1, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ California Department of Transportation, Log of Bridges on State Highways, July 2007
  8. ^ California Department of Transportation, All Traffic Volumes on CSHS, 2005 and 2006
  9. ^ California Department of Transportation, California Numbered Exit Uniform System, State Route 73 Freeway Interchanges, Retrieved on 2009-02-07.

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing