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SAN DIEGO – As with any time, road construction is a common sight in San Diego County. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials at Caltrans say they are getting more work done with fewer cars on the roads.

“At the peak, probably in late March, early April traffic was down about 60% from normal,” Caltrans I-5 Corridor Director Allan Kosup said.

Caltrans I-5 Corridor Director Allan Kosup.

Currently, there are about 80 Caltrans projects in progress in the region. Kosup said some have moved along faster while others are being done more efficiently as crews have fewer vehicles to consider.

“We do lane closures, we do night work,” he said. “The more we can do when there’s less people around, it really reduces the disruption to them later.”

On Thursday, FOX 5 visited one of the bigger projects along the I-5 between Encinitas and Solana Beach involving the San Elijo Bridge. Crews actively are pouring the foundations for the project, which go about 240 feet underground — the equivalent of a roughly 20-story building.

“We took out the old bridge and we are lengthening the bridge so that the lagoon will actually be healthier when we leave because it benefits from improved tidal flushing,” he said.

In addition to an added carpool lane in each direction on the I-5, crews also plan to add a pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. The pathway is a suspended bridge underneath the freeway bridge, creating an simpler connection between Solana Beach, Encinitas and Cardiff.

The San Elijo Bridge project is expected to wrap up by the end of 2021, Kosup said.