September 23, 2008

Thousands Turn Out for Hearing on Toll Road

DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) -- More than 1,000 people turned out Monday at a public hearing over a proposed toll road that would pass through one of Southern California's most popular parks and nearby a world-class surf break.

Until now, the fight over the road -- which would bisect San Onofre State Beach and end a half-mile from the surf break Trestles - - has focused on its environmental impact.

The California Coastal Commission rejected the plan in February. But the company that hopes to build and finance the proposed $1.3 billion road, the Transportation Corridor Agencies, appealed that decision to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, a branch of the U.S. Commerce Department. It hopes to get the state's decision overturned by arguing that the road would play a key role in national security and economic growth.

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