SANDAG construction to cause weekend rail closures

SAN DIEGO — Rail service along the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo rail corridor will be suspended in both directions Saturday through 5 a.m. Monday from Oceanside to San Diego for track and signal improvements, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.

The scheduled rail work in Encinitas, Carlsbad and San Diego will affect weekend rail service for the four railroads that use the corridor — the North County Transit District, Metrolink, Amtrak and freight line BNSF. Rail service is expected to resume Monday for morning commute hours with possible delays.

Track crews in Encinitas plan to grind the existing rails in order to prolong their life, adjust the track’s ballast and replace rail ties. The improvements are part of the $76.8 million San Elijo Lagoon double-tracking project to add a second rail track between Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the San Elijo Lagoon. SANDAG expects the project to be completed this spring.

Crews in Carlsbad will resurface and realign the existing railway in preparation of the rail line’s new western alignment. The $33.7 million Poinsettia Station Improvements Project “will lengthen and elevate passenger platforms, install a fence between the tracks within the station, relocate a section of the existing tracks, and replace the existing at-grade rail crossings with an undercrossing featuring stairways and ADA compliance ramps on both sides of the tracks,” according to SANDAG. The agency expects the project to be completed in 2020.

In San Diego, crews plan to work on rail infrastructure along Morena Boulevard and Santa Fe Street. The work is part of the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project, which is expected to be completed later this year. According to SANDAG, the project is being completed concurrent with the Mid-Coast Trolley extension, which will extend Metropolitan Transit System service 11 miles from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego to University City.

San Diego work crews will also continue bridge construction work near Friars Road at the site of the San Diego River Bridge Double Track Project, which will add nearly a mile of doubled railroad track across the river.

All four weekend rail work projects are part of SANDAG’s Build NCC (North Coast Corridor) program, a 40-year, $700 million effort to repair and expand vehicle and rail transportation infrastructure throughout the county. Once completed, the county anticipates adding a total of 13 miles of new carpool and high-occupancy vehicle freeway lanes, 1 1/2 miles of doubled railroad track, seven miles of bike and pedestrian paths and more than 1,200 acres of restored and preserved coastal habitat land.

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