SANDAG and Caltrans began construction on two bike and pedestrian improvement projects in the City of Encinitas in late February, breaking ground on both the Santa Fe Drive and Encinitas Boulevard intersections at Interstate 5 (I-5). The projects will provide pedestrians and bike riders with separated paths beneath the I-5 overpasses.
The projects are elements of the North Coast Corridor Program, a comprehensive set of projects to add carpool lanes to I-5, double track the coastal rail corridor, provide walking and biking trails, and complete environmental restoration in the I-5 corridor.
“The improvements to Encinitas Boulevard and Santa Fe Drive are essential to the vision of the North Coast Corridor Program,” said SANDAG Board Chair and Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott. “The bike and pedestrian improvements at these two intersections will help the community travel safely through a very busy area. The program not only plans to improve our highway and rail infrastructure and enhance our environmental resources, but increase coastal access along the I-5 corridor.”
The $12.5 million in improvements to Encinitas Boulevard and Santa Fe Drive are expected to take approximately 18 months, with completion scheduled for late summer 2019. Construction will begin along the eastbound side of each street and take approximately eight months to complete, with work along the westbound side starting shortly thereafter.
“Construction activities have been designed to reduce impacts to anyone using these intersections,” said Caltrans Project Manager Arturo Jacobo. “While there will be narrowed lanes, we do not anticipate any lane closures during construction. Additionally, we are installing a temporary protected path for pedestrians and people on bikes, which now only exists along westbound Santa Fe Drive.”
In addition to enhancing coastal access, the improvements are intended to increase the safety of pedestrians and people riding bikes in these intersections. Both projects will provide pedestrians and bicyclists dedicated and separated paths beneath the I-5 overpass. When completed, the new facilities will help shield travelers from oncoming traffic with permanent concrete barriers.
During construction, motorists can expect narrowed lanes and intermittent traffic delays. Nearby residents and businesses can expect periodic noise and lights. Work will take place Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with night and weekend work as needed.
The improvements are part of Build NCC and are funded through federal and state sources, as well as TransNet, the voter approved half-cent sales tax to help fund transportation projects throughout the region under the management of SANDAG.
— Submitted news release