Home / News / SANDAG Awarded $12.1 Million to Complete 2-mile Gap of Inland Rail Trail in the City of Vista

SANDAG Awarded $12.1 Million to Complete 2-mile Gap of Inland Rail Trail in the City of Vista

San Diego CA— SANDAG was awarded nearly $12.1 million in Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant funds from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for the completion of the seven-mile “San Marcos to Vista” segment of the Inland Rail Trail.

The funds will support the completion of a critical two-mile gap of the Inland Rail Trail in the City of Vista, between Civic Center Drive and North Drive. When the project is complete, the result will be 14 continuous miles of the Inland Rail Trail between Escondido and eastern Oceanside that will provide an opportunity for people to safely bike and walk, and will advance efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the San Diego region.

“Completing this stretch of the Inland Rail Trail is critical for our regional bike network,” said SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “This biking and walking path will offer people a healthy, safe, and viable transportation choice away from vehicle traffic, and is a great example of what we can accomplish as a community to reduce our impact on the environment.”

This two-mile phase will be the last of four phases that SANDAG has been designing and building as part of the seven-mile “San Marcos to Vista” segment of the Inland Rail Trail:

  • Phase 1: A one-mile segment in the City of San Marcos opened in February 2017.
  • Phase 2: Three miles of the trail that run through unincorporated San Diego County and the City of Vista opened in January 2021.
  • Phase 3: Construction of a one-mile segment in the City of Vista is expected to begin in 2022.
  • Phase 4: Construction of a two-mile segment in the City of Vista is anticipated to begin in 2024.

“This a momentous day for the City of Vista,” said Vista Mayor Judy Ritter. “The completion of the Inland Rail Trail will provide residents a new, safe, and reliable option to travel to transit stations, school, work, or anywhere in North County while enjoying the outdoors and reducing GHG emissions.”

The completion of Phase 4 is estimated to cost $15.8 million, which includes the $12.1 million ATP grant award, a $650,000 match from TransNet, and $3.1 million leveraged from earlier funds spent on design.

The ATP is competitively awarded in two stages, beginning with a statewide competition led by the CTC, followed by the regional competition. The San Diego region will receive approximately $16 million in funding from the regional competition. In addition to the Inland Rail Trail funding, partial funding is recommended for the La Mesa Bike and Sidewalk Connection project. Four projects in the San Diego region were adopted by the CTC as part of the statewide competition in March 2021 in the cities of Imperial Beach, National City, Oceanside, and San Diego.

The CTC is scheduled to approve the regional competition funding recommendations from the SANDAG Board of Directors at a meeting this summer. In total, 37 projects competed in the regional competition, requesting approximately $156 million in funding.

To learn more about the Active Transportation Funding program, visit sandag.org/atpfunding.

To learn more about the Inland Rail Trail, visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/InlandRailTrail.

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