Carmel Valley connector plan back on table


A plan to punch through open space to connect the two sides of Carmel Valley is back on the drawing board.

Representatives from the Del Mar Mesa and Carmel Valley Community Planning boards are working together to figure out if it still makes sense to sacrifice the environment to connect Pacific Highlands Ranch and Del Mar Mesa by extending Carmel Valley Road.

It’s a plan that has been fought in the past as the value of the open space far outweighed making some commutes easier.

Carmel Valley Road currently dead-ends after the Highway 56 on- and off-ramps, but the transportation plan states that it should continue through the open space and canyon to meet McGonigle Ranch Road in the Del Mar Mesa community.

To make the connection will require a long and fairly high bridge.

The higher the bridge and the longer its span, the more expensive it is, said Paul Metcalf from the Del Mar Mesa board. Estimates for the bridge are now are at $20 million.

The area is home to freshwater marsh, a creek that runs when it rains and undisturbed Southern Maritime habitat.

— Karen Billing