California State Route 73

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

State highways in California(list • pre-1964)
History • Unconstructed • Deleted • Freeway • Scenic

SR 72 SR 74
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.

State Route 73 (SR 73) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California. The route runs from Interstate 405 to Interstate 5 through the San Joaquin Hills 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, made in November 1996, are a toll road operated by the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency named the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor. State Route 73 runs approximately parallel to the Pacific Coast Highway and the San Diego Freeway. Its north terminus is Interstate 405 in Costa Mesa near Fairview Avenue. It then proceeds through the San Joaquin Hills and reaches its southern terminus of Interstate 5 in San Juan Capistrano. There are no HOV lanes currently, but the medians have reserved spots for them if the need arises in the future for their construction.


Route description

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]


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.


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. 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.

The following table lists the tolls at each of the tolled exits, both with and without FasTrak:

As of July 1, 2011[4]
Toll Booth Pay Cash FasTrak
Bonita Canyon Dr Southbound Exit $1.25 $0.80
Newport Coast Dr Southbound Exit $2.25 $1.85
Price assumes 2-axle automobile.
Peak: $5.75 Off-Peak: $5.00
Weekends: $4.75
Peak: $5.00 Off-Peak: $4.20
Weekends: $3.95
El Toro/Laguna Canyon Rd Northbound Exit $2.50 $2.10
Aliso Creek Rd Northbound Exit $2.00 $1.60
La Paz Road/Moulton Pkwy Northbound Exit $1.75 $1.30

Exit list

Note: Except where prefixed with a letter, postmiles were measured in 1964, based on the alignment as it existed at that time, and do not necessarily reflect current mileage.

The entire route is in Orange County.

Location Postmile
Destinations Notes
Mission Viejo 10.00 I-5 south (San Diego Freeway) – San Diego Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Laguna Niguel 11.76 2 Greenfield Drive
Aliso Viejo 12.91 3 Moulton Parkway Southbound exit and northbound entrance
13.40 3 La Paz Road
14.39 4 Aliso Creek Road
15.25 5 Pacific Park Drive, Glenwood Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance
16.25 6 El Toro Road (CR S18) Signed as exit 7 southbound
16.75 7 SR 133 (Laguna Canyon Road) Signed as exit 6 northbound
18.70 Catalina View toll plaza
Irvine 21.43 11 Newport Coast Drive
22.45 12 Bonita Canyon Drive
North end of toll road
23.46 13 Bison Avenue
Newport Beach 23.82 14A MacArthur Boulevard – Newport Beach Southbound exit and northbound entrance; former SR 73 south
23.82 14 MacArthur Boulevard – John Wayne Airport Northbound exit and southbound entrance
24.36 14B University Drive Southbound exit and northbound entrance
R24.78 15 Jamboree Road No northbound exit
R25.45 15 Birch Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R25.58 16 Campus Drive, Irvine Avenue Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Costa Mesa R26.58 17A SR 55 north (Costa Mesa Freeway) Northbound exit and southbound entrance
R26.58 17B SR 55 south (Costa Mesa Freeway) Signed as exit 17A southbound
R27.28 17C Bear Street Signed as exit 17B southbound
18B Fairview Road Northbound exit and southbound entrance
18A Harbor Boulevard Northbound exit only
R27.81 I-405 north (San Diego Freeway) – Long Beach Northbound exit and southbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
     Concurrency terminus     Closed/Former     Incomplete access     Unopened


External links

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