New lanes ease notorious freeway bottleneck

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SAN MARCOS, Calif. — San Diego County transportation officials hope new auxiliary lanes opened on eastbound state Route 78 in San Marcos Wednesday will relieve one of San Diego County’s worst bottlenecks.

traffic-highwayAlmost daily, clogged off-ramps in fast-growing Banning would cause traffic to backup on the freeway.

An extra eastbound lane was added between Woodland Parkway and the Barham Drive, and two additional eastbound lanes were added between the Barham Drive on-ramp and the Nordahl Road off-ramp, according to Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments.

Also, a portion of Highway 78 over Mission Road was repaved and the Barham Drive on-ramp was replaced.

“Over the past two years, SANDAG and Caltrans, working in partnership with San Marcos and Escondido, have collectively invested more than $40 million to improve traffic conditions on SR-78,” SANDAG Chairman and Santee Councilman Jack Dale said. “We recognize that reducing traffic backup on this key east- west travel corridor is vital to the quality of life for residents living in North County.”

Westbound auxiliary lanes were recently added in the area, and Nordahl Road Bridge was replaced. The intersection of Nordahl and Montiel roads was also reworked.

By early afternoon, Caltrans traffic monitors on eastbound Highway 78 near Nordahl Road showed only minor slowing.

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