Ten lanes, widened freeway ramps, and a new separated bike and pedestrian path and bridge
La Jolla CA— With vehicles streaming across the Genesee Avenue overpass nearby, elected leaders and officials from SANDAG and Caltrans celebrated the opening of the $117.4 million I-5/Genesee Avenue Interchange Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
The project relieves congestion between two key San Diego employment hubs in northern La Jolla on the west side of I-5 and University City on the east side of I-5.
“This project is critical to the San Diego region as it reduces congestion, provides new bike and pedestrian connections, and aims to connect communities with alternative transportation choices,” said SANDAG Board Chair and Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott. “The project reconfigures the interchange and adds components to promote active transportation, which will allow people to walk or bike on a continuous path from Mission Bay to Carmel Valley.”
The I-5/Genesee Avenue Interchange Project replaced the previously existing six-lane Genesee Avenue overpass with a new 10-lane structure, widened the on- and off-ramps at I-5, and constructed an auxiliary lane along northbound I-5 between Genesee Avenue and Roselle Street. The project also built a bike lane along westbound Genesee Avenue, and constructed a new bike and pedestrian trail from Voigt Drive to the Sorrento Valley COASTER Station, which includes a bike and pedestrian bridge over Genesee Avenue.
“The completion of this project means greater access to and from I-5 for the surrounding communities, as well as a new three-mile separated bike and pedestrian path and bridge from the Sorrento Valley COASTER station to nearby businesses and hospitals,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “In just over three years, we built new infrastructure to meet both the current and future transportation demands for this community.”
The event was attended by State Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, State Assemblymember Todd Gloria, SANDAG Board Chair and City of Del Mar Councilmember Terry Sinnott, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry, Federal Highway Administration Division Administrator Monica Gourdine, Caltrans Director Laurie Berman, UC San Diego Associate Vice Chancellor Garry MacPherson, Scripps Memorial Hospital Manager of Patient Care Rose Colangelo, and San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts. They were joined by members of the surrounding community, employer partners, and bike enthusiasts, who took part in a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony at the southern end of the new bike and pedestrian bridge at Genesee Avenue.
In addition to the new overpass, bike/pedestrian bridge and path, construction crews also resurfaced I-5 with a rubberized concrete mix to allow for a smoother ride; planted nearly 650 trees, including Torrey Pines, Sycamores, and Coast Live Oak; installed native, drought-tolerant landscaping; and constructed bioswales along I-5.
Construction on the I-5/Genesee Avenue Interchange Project began in February 2015. Finishing touches to the fencing along the elevated bike path and sidewalks will be completed in July 2018.
Funding for the project was a regional collaboration to improve a key employment artery linking University City with La Jolla. $52.9 million was provided by the federal government, the City of San Diego contributed $22.9 million, $21.6 million was provided from the State of California (Caltrans), UC San Diego contributed $1.7 million, and $18.3 million was provided by TransNet, the voter-approved half-cent sales tax administered by SANDAG.
The improvements are part of the North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program, a 40-year, $6 billion package of transportation and environmental enhancement projects along the I-5 corridor from La Jolla Village Drive to State Route 78. The project was constructed alongside a multitude of other transportation improvement projects – such as the Mid-Coast Trolley – to increase access to and from the employment, education, and healthcare centers in the University City and La Jolla area.
Outreach for the I-5/Genesee Interchange Project is supported by Shift San Diego, a unique outreach program launched by SANDAG, which was created to serve as a one-stop resource for the public to receive up to date construction information and transportation solutions. A key strategic component of Shift is employer engagement, which was an impactful aspect of the Genesee Avenue construction. Shift reached more than 60 employer sites to help companies develop or enhance their commuter benefits program. Through this effort, Shift reached over 60,000 employees and over 35,000 students for this project.
The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.
About Caltrans District 11
Caltrans District 11 serves one of the most geographically and culturally diverse areas in the country and includes San Diego and Imperial counties. It spans the entire California-Mexico Border from the Pacific coast to Arizona and reaches north from the international border to Orange and Riverside counties.
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