The bid for initial construction on the first of Orange County's three tollways was accepted Wednesday by the county Transportation Corridor Agencies.
The low bidder was the Ebiensteiner Co., based in Agoura Hills in northern Los Angeles County, which submitted a bid of $7.7 million to complete a half-mile-long grading project on the Foothill Transportation Corridor.
Before the project is officially awarded to the company, the bid must be approved by the Transportation Corridor Agencies board of directors, which is expected to review the matter Oct. 11.
"This is going to be breaking ground," said TCA spokeswoman Donna Stubbs. "It's a significant step forward."
Located near El Toro Road, the grading project is a small part of the $640-million publicly owned tollway that will run from the foothills through San Clemente toward the county line.
Stubbs called the project as "full-width" grading to clear the way for an eventual eight-lane toll road. But when the tollway is opened in 1993, she said, the road will accommodate two lanes of traffic in each direction.