Input sought for 5/56 alternatives

The Interstate 5/Highway 56 steering committee will meet on Sept.18 and it’s important for Carmel Valley residents to have their say on project alternatives, said Scott Tillson a member of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board who also serves on the committee.

While much attention has been given to the threat of homes being lost if decision makers opt for the direct connector alternative, some remain unaware that the alternative will result in the loss of Carmel Creek Road on and off ramps on the 56.

At past committee meetings, Caltrans Project Director Allan Kosup has said Carmel Creek has to be eliminated, as there won’t be enough room to maneuver safely to and from connectors on either side of the freeway. Removing Carmel Creek on and off ramps will prompt commuters to find surface street alternatives to get to the 5 or 56, whether via Del Mar Heights, El Camino Real or Carmel Country Road.

“These are significant changes that affect the way Carmel Valley uses the 56,” Tillson said. “It’s not going to be the end of the world but there’s still an opportunity to influence it.”

Currently an environmental impact report is studying the impacts of all the project alternatives: The direct connector, an auxiliary lane option and a hybrid of both. Steering committee meetings are held monthly at the Carmel Valley Library to get the opinions of communities impacted by this project.

Tillson recommended residents get involved in this process by attending these meetings and voicing their concerns. The Sept. 18 will be held at 2 p.m. at the library.

“Take a look at the project and see what you think,” Tillson said.

Information on the 5/56 project can be found at

www.sandiego.gov/5_56freewayconnectors

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