California Department of Transportation

Toll Road Fact Sheet



Assembly Bill 680 (Baker) Chapter 107, Statutes of 1989 authorized Caltrans to enter into agreements with private entities for development, construction and operation of four demonstration transportation projects at private sector expense without the use of state funds. Development franchise agreements were executed in December 1990 and January 1991 for the following four projects.

State Route 91 (Orange County) 91 Express Lanes

This $130 million privately financed, fully automated facility is a 10-mile, four-lane toll project is located within the median of an existing eight-lane freeway between State Route 55 in Orange County and the Riverside County line. This project connects rapidly growing residential areas in Riverside and San Bernardino counties with major employment centers in Orange and Los Angeles counties. The facility was opened to traffic on December 27, 1995 and is America's first toll road to employ variable congestion pricing. To maintain free-flow conditions, tolls vary during the day with traffic volumes, directional flow and other factors. The facility is the world's first fully automated toll road utilizing electronic transponders to collect tolls.

This award winning project was developed in partnership with Caltrans by California Private Transportation Company (CPTC), an entity formed by subsidiaries of Level 3 Communiations, Inc., Compagnie Financiere et Industrielle des Autoroutes (Cofiroute), the world's largest private toll road operator, and Granite Construction Inc. Prior to opening the project to traffic, CPTC formally transferred ownership of the facility to the State of California. Caltrans then leased the improvements back to CPTC for a 35-year operating period. The new lanes have been officially designated a part of the California State Highway System and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is responsible for providing police services at CPTC's expense. Maintenance and operational costs for the facility are also the responsibility of CPTC. In addition to the initial $130 million capital cost savings to the State by private development and construction of the project, it is estimated that the State will also save $120 million in CHP, operations and maintenance expenses over the 35 year franchise period. Financial benefits also accrue to Orange County since CPTC, as a private entity, is subject to property taxes. In the first 6 years of operation CPTC has provided $6.8 million in tax revenues to the county.

The facilities debt financing was provided by a group of commercial banks and institutional lenders including Citicorp USA, Banque National de Paris, Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank and CIGNA Investments.

In April, 2002 the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) reached an agreement in concept to purchase the private toll road project for $207.5 M. In September 2002, AB 1010, Chapter 688 (2002) allowed OCTA to purchase the Toll Road from CPTC. OCTA took possession of the Toll Road on January 3, 2003.

State Route 125 (San Diego County) South Bay Expressway 

The South Bay Expressway (SR 125) officially opened on November 19, 2007. The 10-mile state-of-art toll road extends from SR 54 in Spring Valley to Otay Mea Road/SR 905 near the International boarder crossing. The South Bay Expressway is four lanes and has seven interchanages but may be expanded to meet future growth. Motorists traveling the new toll highway will be able to take advantage of the latest in high-tech toll collection, which allows tolls to be paid while driving at highway speeds using a FasTrak® electronic transponder mounted on their vehicle.

The construction of this express toll road is being made possible through an innovative public-private partnership, and is one of the first roads of its kind in California and the United States.

State Route 57 (Orange County)

As proposed, this $950 million project is a 4-lane, 11.2 mile extension of Route 57 from Route 5 to Route 405 located within the Santa Ana River Flood Control Channel right-of-way. The four lanes would consist of 2 two-lane viaducts running longitudinally down the river channel. 

The current franchisee is American Transportation Development (ATD), a partnership of Interwest Company, Inc. and Washington Group, International, Inc. ATD has requested that the required date for the commencement of construction be extended from January 11, 2001 to January 11, 2007. This request was denied and the franchise was terminated in January 2001. ATD contested the termination and it was in litigation until it was resolved on Novembr 14, 2003. 

Mid-State Tollway (Alameda and Contra Costa Counties)

This project was reduced in scope to a $600 million, 40+ mile, initial four lane (ultimate 6-lane) toll road extending from Route 680 near Sunol to Route 4 near Antioch. The project developer, California Toll Road Company (CTRC), and Caltrans amended the original franchise agreement in 1993 to delete the portions of the original project that included an extension into Solano County. This amendment satisfied a condition imposed by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in its review of the proposed transportation project. Work on the project was suspended due to serious political opposition and the franchise terminated on January 1, 2001.

The principal companies involved in CTRC are Parsons Municipal Services, Inc. and Compagnie Financiere et Industrielle des Autoroutes (Cofiroute), a French toll road development company.

For additional information, please contact Office of Innovative Finance.