Caltrans District Director Allan Kosup stopped by the July 23 City Council meeting to give an update on the latest phase of the North Coast Corridor Project, which includes I-5 construction from Carlsbad south to Del Mar.
The $1 billion North Coast Corridor Project is part of a comprehensive set of transportation, environmental and coastal access projects that include:
Widening the freeway.
27 miles of express lanes on Interstate 5 from La Jolla to Oceanside. Improvements to more than 30 highway overpasses with better bike/pedestrian paths.
Paving of the widened freeway lanes will begin this week along with the installation of sound walls in the Manchester and Poinsettia areas. Other planned sound walls in Carlsbad can’t be installed until the freeway work is further along. This segment of the project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Kosup said the continuation of the I-5 HOV lanes from Palomar Airport Road north to State Route 78 will begin late this year or early next year.
Speed limit During construction the speed limit on I-5 in south Carlsbad has been reduced to 55 mph. Even though most of the construction work takes place at night, Kosup said the lower speed limit is needed to improve safety in the construction zone and is being actively enforced by the CHP.
Rail Improvements Part of the overall project is constructing 60 miles of train tracks along the existing ones. This “double tracking” allows trains traveling in opposite directions to pass without slowing down or stopping. In Carlsbad, the second set of tracks has already been installed from Carlsbad Village Drive south to Cannon Road.
A project at the Poinsettia Coaster Station is currently underway to add the second set of tracks there. Other improvements include:
Upgrading passenger platforms.
Creating an undercrossing to get to the second set of tracks.
Installing a fence between the tracks to prevent people from walking over the tracks.
New shelters, signage and lighting.
This project is scheduled to be completed in 2020.