Public meetings set for freeway, train track expansion

I-5-trafficSAN DIEGO – Two public meetings have been scheduled to help local and state officials gather feedback and answer questions about the $6.5 billion North Coast Corridor Program, a proposed combination of widened freeway and additional train tracks along  27 miles of North County beaches.

The latest version of the Caltrans/San Diego Association of Government transit plan for North County includes widening the 5 Freeway from La Jolla Village Drive to Harbor Drive in Oceanside.

A new combination tollway-carpool expressway, two lanes in each direction, would be added to the coastal freeway, and merging or exit lanes and ramp improvements would also be built.

Train tracks used by the Coaster and Amtrak trains would be bolstered with a second track along the entire coast.

The project would also enhance the corridor’s six lagoons and improve coastal access by adding bicycle and pedestrian paths, according to Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments.

In addition to the four added freeway lanes, the blueprint includes lengthening rail and highway bridges and coastal access elements like a planned 27-mile North Coast Bike Trail.

It will also address anticipated sea level rise, because much of the rail tracks and other infrastructure is very near sea level.

An implementation blueprint for the improvements was re-released Friday for a 60-day review and comment period.

It was initially released in 2010, officials said.

The blueprint must be considered by the California Coastal Commission, and if approved it would be constructed in phases through 2040, officials said.

The public may comment on how the project would affect coastal access and other resources, either in writing or by attending two meetings: at 6 p.m. April 3 at the La Jolla Country Day School, 9490 Genesee Ave., or at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Carlsbad Senior Center at 799 Pine Ave.

Comments can also be submitted via email to NCCPWP@dot.ca.gov or by mail to Shay Lynn M. Harrison, Environmental Analysis Branch Chief, Caltrans, District 11, 4050 Taylor St., Division of Environmental Analysis, MS 242, San
Diego, CA, 92110.

The project’s EIR is online at http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com .

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