Officials mark completion of road project

Officials on Jan. 13 marked the completion - a year ahead of schedule - of a $66 million project in Solana Beach intended to ease congestion on Interstate 5.

The Caltrans project involved reconfiguring the Lomas Santa Fe interchange and extending the High Occupancy Vehicle, or HOV, lanes two miles in each direction on Interstate 5, from Via De La Valle north to Manchester Avenue.

The project is part of a larger effort to construct 12 miles of HOV lanes from Mira Mesa Boulevard on Interstate 805 north to Manchester Avenue on Interstate 5, according to Caltrans.

It’s the first major project completed in California with partial funding from Proposition 1B, a $19.9 billion transportation bond approved by voters in 2006. The state bond funds covered $24.5 million of the project’s overall $66 million cost, according to Caltrans.

Representatives from Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments joined local elected officials at a morning ceremony in Solana Beach to mark the opening of the project to traffic.

On Jan. 22 the City of Solana Beach notified the public that eastbound Lomas Santa Fe to northbound the Interstate 5 loop on-ramp was opened Jan. 21 but on the same day, the signal was deactivated at the old eastbound Lomas Santa Fe to northbound Interstate 5 on-ramp and the left turn lane on Lomas Santa Fe was closed to traffic.

Due to the wet weather conditions the loop on-ramp will be delayed until Monday, Feb. 2. Once the final on-ramp is open to traffic, the old signal and westbound left turn lane will be closed. Caltrans also plans on doing the final paving at the interchange after all on-ramps are opened.