Work Concludes on the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track, Chesterfield Drive Improvements, and Coastal Rail Trail Projects Just in Time for Bike Month and Bike to Work Day
Encinitas CA— Caltrans, and community members celebrated the completion of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project, Chesterfield Drive Improvement Projects, and a segment of the Coastal Rail Trail bikeway in the City of Encinitas. The nearly $100 million of investments in the community will increase mobility, safety, and transportation choices in the area. The completion of these projects coincides with National Bike Month and the 29th Annual SANDAG Bike to Work Day on Thursday, May 16.
“Together, the completion of these projects will help serve multimodal transit growth throughout the region for years to come,” said SANDAG Board Chair and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, “Passenger rail services are expected to double over the next decade, and bike adoption continues to rise. These projects will help our region keep pace with growing demand.”
The completion of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project in partnership with the North County Transit District added 1.5 miles of second mainline rail track and replaced an aging timber single track rail bridge with a modern, concrete, double-tracked bridge. Engraved letters on the new rail bridge spell out C-A-R-D-I-F-F, with a letter on each of the new bridge columns.
“The completion of these projects is a big deal to our community,” said SANDAG Board Vice Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, “The positive impacts of the safety improvements, increased health and wellness from new travel choices and connectivity hubs will be felt immediately. With these new facilities, I look forward to increasing our community participation on Bike to Work Day next week.”
The opening of the 1.3-mile Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is part of a larger planned continuous bike route that will run approximately 44 miles between the City of Oceanside and Downtown San Diego. Including the new segment, approximately 25.6 miles of the Coastal Rail Trail have been completed to date. The Encinitas segment connects Chesterfield Drive with Santa Fe Drive, along the east side of the rail line, bringing together residents, businesses, and schools in the small coastal community.
“We are proud to celebrate these three important, integrated projects in the City of Encinitas,” said Allan Kosup, Caltrans District 11 North Coast Corridor Director. “These projects are critical connections in the Build NCC program, and represent the first major milestones of progress in a 40-year plan to improve transportation and the quality of life along San Diego County’s north-south coastal corridor.”
The Chesterfield Drive Improvements Project, completed in partnership with the City of Encinitas, included the installation of new rail crossing safety equipment, a modernized and enhanced rail crossing warning system, a multi-use bike/pedestrian path, and ADA-accessible sidewalks and ramps. The safety improvements allowed the City of Encinitas to apply for a Quiet Zone, which eliminates the need for train engineers to sound their horn when approaching an at-grade crossing, with the Federal Railroad Association.
During the construction, a waiting platform for the original Cardiff Train Station was unearthed. Modifications were made to the trail to leave the platform in place, allowing the City of Encinitas to preserve this important piece of history in the Harbaugh Seaside Parkway.
The projects were funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources, including TransNet, the regional, voter-approved half-cent sales tax for transportation improvement projects administered by SANDAG. The San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project cost approximately $78 million, the Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail cost approximately $11 million, and the Chesterfield Drive Improvements Project cost approximately $6 million. For more information, please visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com.
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.
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.
Follow @SDCaltrans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SDCaltrans and visit Caltrans San Diego on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CaltransSanDiego for news related to state transportation in San Diego and Imperial counties.
About Build NCC
Build NCC is a collaborative effort between Caltrans, SANDAG, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The first phase of construction began in the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Carlsbad as part of the North Coast Corridor Program. Build NCC includes extending the existing carpool lane on I-5 in each direction from Lomas Santa Fe Drive to State Route 78, double-tracking the rail line at the San Elijo Lagoon, replacing the highway and rail bridges at the San Elijo Lagoon, restoring the San Elijo Lagoon, and constructing nearly seven miles of new bike and pedestrian trails. Construction on Build NCC began in early 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2022. To learn more about Build NCC, visit, KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/BuildNCC.