California: Battle to Tame Orange County Traffic Now Rages Over Fees for High-Priced Consultants

The warnings have been ominous for motorists winding their way to and from San Diego along a busy stretch of Interstate 5 in South Orange County — a future of crushing gridlock unless something drastic is done.

Transportation planners have been trying to sell skeptical residents for more than a decade on an extension of the Highway 241 toll road to help ease traffic.

To win public support for the extension or an alternative solution, the toll road agency has turned to consulting firms to wage a multimillion-dollar public outreach campaign.

But that spending is sparking questions about how the public agency is using the money.