New freeway lane expected to ease traffic in University City area


The street sign for La Jolla Village Drive, a particularly busy stretch of road when it reaches Interstate 5 in the University City area.

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – SANDAG and Caltrans opened a southbound Interstate 5 auxiliary lane in the University City area Wednesday morning.

The new exit-only lane allows motorists to enter the freeway from Genesee Avenue and continue directly to the La Jolla Village Drive off-ramp without having to merge with freeway traffic.

The approximately half-mile auxiliary lane is intended to improve traffic flow, reduce travel delays and increase overall safety in the area. Prior to its completion, the heavily trafficked southbound I-5 off-ramp to La Jolla Village Drive often caused congestion on the freeway, posing a safety risk to drivers.

Construction for the I-5/Genesee Avenue Auxiliary Lane project began in July 2019 and required careful work alongside freeway traffic. The $7 million project was made possible by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, which increased the state gas tax to fund state transportation projects.

The auxiliary lane was constructed concurrently with the Mid-Coast Trolley project, which will extend Blue Line Trolley service from Downtown San Diego north to the University community when it opens for service in late 2021.

The auxiliary lane runs beneath the Voigt Drive Trolley bridge, one of two locations where the future trolley will travel over I-5.

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