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The Toll Roads Annual Spring Tours Draws in Dozens of Nature Enthusiasts

Spring Tours offer a once-a-year opportunity to experience conservation sites managed by Transportation Corridor Agencies

Irvine, Calif. - June 06, 2024

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA – operator of The Toll Roads) spotlighted two of its conservation areas to members of the public for the highly anticipated annual Spring Tours series. Participants had a rare opportunity to explore the natural beauty of protected areas of Orange County on guided walks through the land set aside with the construction of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads. This year’s tours offered a behind the scenes experience for residents of Orange County at two sites: Upper Chiquita Canyon near Coto de Caza in Rancho Santa Margarita and Bonita Creek in Newport Beach. Upper Chiquita, like most of the other TCA’s conservation areas, is usually closed to the public.

Led by a restoration ecologist, an ornithologist and a wildlife biologist who work with The Toll Roads to restore the sites to their native habitat and preserve them for generations to come, the tours focused on TCA’s comprehensive efforts and commitment to environmental conservation and provided an exclusive glimpse into special areas of Orange County that few have ever seen.

2024 Spring Tours

“For more than 30 years, TCA’s environmental initiatives have protected more than 2,100 acres of habitat and open space, preserving it for generations to come,” shared San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency Director and City of Laguna Niguel Mayor Pro Tem, Stephanie Oddo. “As Chair of the Joint Environmental Committee for TCA, it brings me great pleasure to see the Agencies share these conservation sites each year for the public to experience and enjoy.

“TCA’s Spring Tours give the public an opportunity to interact with nature and learn more about the Agencies’ programs that have created these healthy ecosystems and preserved beautiful open spaces in perpetuity,” said Dr. Doug Feremenga, TCA’s Environmental Planning Manager. “The conservation sites are managed with science-based tools to improve the overall quality of these natural areas while building sustainable transportation solutions.”

The 41.5-acre Bonita Creek restoration area is part of the main wildlife link from the San Joaquin Hills to Upper Newport Bay. It was restored with the construction of the 73 Toll Road from a narrow rip-rap lined ditch and underground culverts to a viable riparian and upland habitat supporting numerous listed wildlife species.

The Upper Chiquita Canyon conservation area covers 1,158 acres near Wagon Wheel and Coto de Caza in Rancho Santa Margarita. The land was set aside during construction of the 241 Toll Road and consists of coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, grassland habitats and natural drainages.

TCA’s award-winning environmental protection and management programs have conserved and restored more than 2,100 acres at 17 different Orange County locations. To learn more about TCA’s environmental strategic initiatives, please visit

For Media Use:
Bonita Creek Photos
Upper Chiquita Canyon Photos

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California Legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system comprised of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads, which represents 20% of Orange County’s highway system.