by Photo courtesy of South Bay Expressway

For about three months, four toll violation registration stations on State Route 125 were inactive throughout Chula Vista, causing losses of at least $1.8 million, according to an audit. 

The San Diego County Association of Governments (SANDAG) may have known about the problem, but the situation continued for about a quarter last year. SANDAG Chief Economist Ray Major said an independent maintenance contractor took the Chula Vista toll violation recording system offline to borrow parts of the system and use them on other readers that were out of order.

When the unnamed independent contractor finished making repairs, he left without reconnecting the system.

The disconnect was between the toll entrances and exits at Birch and San Miguel, all within the Chula Vista stretch.

The auditor became aware of the situation when a person made a report to SANDAG, according to a report initially published by inewsource.

Commuters who used the toll road, but violated the toll payment did not receive a ticket in the main. They continued to use the road without paying.

SANDAG manages the toll road under a lease that will pay off in 2042.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas has criticized the SR-125 toll because it discourages potential consumers of the city's commerce, hindering its economic development.

The mayor wants SR-125 debt refinanced because Chula Vista residents "are the only ones paying for the toll road."

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