To date in Sonet and DWDM transport environments, we see two dominant principles for network survivability: ring and mesh. Although both are used, they are virtually always deployed and operated on geographically separate networks or regions, or applied on a ring-access and mesh-core principle. We describe a new approach for optimized design of ring and mesh network components in a single hybrid transport network. A key concept in design of these hybrids is the “clipping” of forcer spans in the mesh network design by strategically added rings. We present a formal optimization model and a heuristic to form sych hybrid designs with lower total cost than a pure-mesh design. These ideas on optical network architecture are especially relevant to industry practice with the advent of OXC systems with integrated add–drop multiplexer functionality and by the development of ultra long reach (ULR) optics. This integration of OXC-OADM functionality effectively removes any extra costs associated with transitions from a ring to mesh environment and ULR optics permit all-optical bypass of OXC nodes which enhances the cost-effectiveness of the hybrid architectures.