NY Times covers Trestles and the Toll Road
Last week the best school-aged surfers competed here at Lower Trestles in the National Scholastic Surfing Association Championships. The winners, especially in the open divisions, often go on to distinction as professionals.
But the future of the waves here is less assured. Many surfing enthusiasts have been fighting a plan to build a toll road nearby that could alter the iconic surf break. Some recent events have been encouraging to the surfers.
Work on the road was scheduled to begin in 2008 and expected to cost $875 million, but the project has been pushed back to 2011 because of regulatory hurdles. And in May the House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to the National Defense Act that forces the Transportation Corridor Agencies, the group that would build the toll road, to comply with state and federal environmental laws. It had previously been exempt.
Named for the railroad trestles running over San Mateo Creek, the surf spot consists of five point breaks where waves curl over a cobblestone reef. Lower Trestles is the best, with waves that are not overly large, but with well-shaped shoulders, they are ideal for long, fast rides, and aerials and other maneuvers.
“It’s by far the best wave in Southern California,” said Pat O’Connell, a professional surfer who lives in nearby Laguna Beach.
Lots more after the jump