This view looks north along California 73/San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor toward Newport Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Photo taken 04/21/07.
California 73 is the Corona del Mar Freeway and the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor, a privately-constructed toll road that begins in Laguna Nigel at Interstate 5, then heads northwest through Laguna Hills and skirting the city of Irvine. The route stays mostly rural between Laguna Hills and Newport Beach, then becomes a free road at MacArthur Drive. California 73 then connects with Interstate 405, thus creating a short-cut for travelers along Interstate 5 who wish to continue northwest to Long Beach, Los Angeles International Airport, and points north.
The toll road segment from Interstate 5 to MacArthur Boulevard (called the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor) opened to traffic in November 1996. The Corona del Mar Freeway segment from MacArthur Boulevard to Interstate 405/San Diego Freeway opened to traffic in 1978 and is free of tolls. Prior to the completion of the toll road in 1996, California 73 was previously aligned onto MacArthur Boulevard south to end at California 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) in Newport Beach. The southern endpoint changed to Interstate 5 once the freeway was constructed.
When the private contractor built the California 73 Foothill Corridor in 1996, the overhead and roadside guide signs were installed with a non-standard color. The color used was a little bit bluer than the standard forest green used at that time for non-reflective, button-copy signage. Due to the substandard nature of the signs, Caltrans required the contractor to replace the semi-bluish signs with new reflective signage that is in conformance with the new standard.
Page Updated September 24, 2010.