California State Route 261

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Toll plate California.svg

State Route 261 Toll

Eastern Transportation Corridor
SR 261 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Caltrans and TCA
Length6.2 mi[1] (10.0 km)
Existed1991 [1]–present
Major junctions
South endWalnut Avenue and Jamboree Road in Irvine
North end
SR 241 Toll near Orange
CountryUnited States
Highway system
SR 260 SR 262

State Route 261 (SR 261) is a state highway that forms part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor toll road system in Orange County, California. It runs from Walnut Avenue and Jamboree Road in Irvine north to SR 241. North of this interchange, SR 241 becomes part of the Eastern Transportation Corridor. SR 261 parallels Jamboree Road for its entire length. SR 261 does not directly connect with I-5 in Irvine, as Jamboree Road and other streets must be used to make the connection.

Route description

SR 261 at the Irvine Boulevard toll booth

The southern end of SR 261 is in Irvine, splitting from Jamboree Road near Walnut Avenue, while Jamboree continues south as a locally-maintained divided highway to Barranca Parkway. SR 261 then runs north parallel to Jamboree Road towards Santiago Canyon Road (CR S18) in the city of Orange near Irvine Lake. While Jamboree Road has an interchange with I-5, SR 261 does not and instead passes underneath the interstate without any connecting ramps. The toll road then continues next to The Market Place, an outdoor shopping center straddling the border of Irvine and Tustin, before going through a toll plaza after the Irvine Boulevard interchange. Following this is the Portola Parkway exit, after which SR 261 passes through hilly, wilderness terrain alongside the Irvine Village of Orchard Hills to the east and the border with Tustin to the west. After the final exit with Santiago Canyon Road in Orange, SR 261 merges with SR 241, which continues north towards SR 91.[2]

SR 261 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System,[3] and is part of the National Highway System,[4] a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy, defense, and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration.[5]


The California State Legislature added SR 231 to the state highway system in 1988; it was a route from I-5 around the Tustin–Irvine boundary to SR 91.[6] In 1991, the Legislature renumbered part of SR 231 to be SR 261.[7] Five years later, SR 231 was renumbered to SR 241, and the southern terminus with I-5 was changed to become Walnut Avenue.[8]


SR 261 employs a barrier toll system, where drivers are charged flat-rate tolls based on what particular toll booths they pass through. Since May 13, 2014, the road has been using an all-electronic, open road tolling system.[9] And on October 2, 2019, the license plate tolling program, under the brand name "ExpressAccount", was discontinued.[10] Drivers may still pay using the FasTrak electronic toll collection system or via a one time payment online. Drivers must pay within 5 days after their trip on the toll road or they will be assessed a toll violation.[11]

There is one mainline toll gantry at Irvine Ranch. As of July 2022, the gantry uses a congestion pricing scheme based on the time of day for FasTrak users, while non-FasTrak drivers must pay the $3.32 maximum toll regardless of the day and time. Tolls are also collected at a flat rate at selected on-and off-ramps: Irvine Blvd's northbound onramp ($2.69), northbound offramp ($2.12), and southbound onramp ($2.12); and Portola Parkway ($2.69, free on the northbound offramp).[12]

Exit list

The entire route is in Orange County.

Irvine0.000.00Jamboree Road southContinuation beyond Walnut Avenue
1Walnut Avenue / Edinger AvenueSouthern terminus
Jamboree Road to I-5
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; last free northbound exit before toll road begins
1.642.642Irvine BoulevardTolled northbound exit and all entrances
Irvine Ranch Mainline toll gantry
2.854.593Portola ParkwayTolled southbound exit and all entrances

Santiago Canyon Road (CR S18) / Chapman Avenue (CR S25) to SR 241 Toll south
Northbound exit and southbound entrance; SR 241 exit 33

SR 241 Toll north (Eastern Transportation Corridor)
Northern terminus; SR 241 south exit 32
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b California Highways
  2. ^ Orange County Road Atlas (Map). Thomas Brothers. 2008.
  3. ^ "Article 2 of Chapter 2 of Division 1". California Streets and Highways Code. Sacramento: California Office of Legislative Counsel. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Federal Highway Administration (March 25, 2015). National Highway System: Los Angeles, CA (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 3, 2017.
  5. ^ Natzke, Stefan; Neathery, Mike & Adderly, Kevin (June 20, 2012). "What is the National Highway System?". National Highway System. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 1, 2012.
  6. ^ California State Assembly. An act to add Sections 188.4 and 531 to the Streets and Highways Code, relating to transportation. 1987–1988 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1364.
  7. ^ California State Assembly. An act...relating to highways. 1991–1992 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 775.
  8. ^ California State Assembly. An act to amend Section 564 of the Code of Civil Procedure, to amend Section 19993.7 of, and to add Section 65088.5 to, the Government Code, and to amend Sections 11474, 44013.5, and 44521 of, and to repeal Sections 39047.4... 1995–1996 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California. State of California. Ch. 1154.
  9. ^ "All Electronic Tolling". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  10. ^ "ExpressAccount". Transportation Corridor Agencies. October 2, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "Ways to Pay Tolls". Transportation Corridor Agencies. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  12. ^ "The Toll Roads Rate Card" (PDF). Transportation Corridor Agencies. July 1, 2022. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  13. ^ a b "State Route 261 Freeway Interchanges" (PDF). California Numbered Exit Uniform System. California Department of Transportation. August 30, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  14. ^ California Department of Transportation. "State Truck Route List". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (XLS file) on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  15. ^ California Department of Transportation (July 2007). "Log of Bridges on State Highways". Sacramento: California Department of Transportation.

External links