Work underway on I-5 expansion across San Elijo Lagoon



An architectural rendering of a possible design for the Manchester Avenue overpass in Encinitas, looking west, shows a widened span over San Elijo Lagoon. (Caltrans photo)

North Coast Current

Despite January’s rainy weather, construction got underway on freeway and rail projects across San Elijo Lagoon between Solana Beach and the Encinitas community of Cardiff.

Crews removed trees and other vegetation along Interstate 5 from Lomas Santa Fe Drive to Manchester Avenue overnight from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Jan. 25-29, according to notices from Build NCC, the regional consortium managing the project. Nearby residents can expect intermittent noise and lights as work continues., including Feb. 6-9 as work is done alone Manchester Avenue.

Construction crews are also conducting preliminary work to replace the I-5 bridge over Manchester Avenue to extend the carpool lanes, Build NCC reported. The project will include an expanded bridge span to allow for better tidal flow, and landscaping will consist of drought-tolerant native vegetation, including about 400 trees.

Other recent work has included fencing off construction areas and removing vegetation along the coastal rail line, according to Build NCC’s updates. The overall work was expected to take about six weeks. A majority of the work will occur Monday through Friday between of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., with some night work as needed.

Build NCC is the first phase of the North Coast Corridor Program, running through the Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. Construction on the first phase is expected to be completed by 2021.