Interstate 5 express lane work gets OK for Carlsbad, Oceanside

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Interstate 5 express lane work gets OK for Carlsbad, Oceanside

This Caltrans rendering shows a possible configuration for a pedestrian bridge across San Elijo Lagoon under Interstate 5 in Encinitas. (Caltrans photo)

This Caltrans rendering shows a possible configuration for a pedestrian bridge across San Elijo Lagoon under Interstate 5 in Encinitas. (Caltrans photo)

This Caltrans rendering shows a possible configuration for a pedestrian bridge across San Elijo Lagoon under Interstate 5 in Encinitas. (Caltrans photo)

This Caltrans rendering shows a possible configuration for a pedestrian bridge across San Elijo Lagoon under Interstate 5 in Encinitas. (Caltrans photo)

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Construction of new express lanes along Interstate 5 will continue north in 2020 after a green light from the Coastal Commission, the San Diego Association of Governments announced.

The approval came in December for the last segment of express lane construction from Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad north to Route 78 in Oceanside, according to the announcement. One new express lane will be installed in each direction.

“These express lanes are an integral part of the vision for this entire project, which includes rail, pedestrian and bike, and coastal infrastructure improvements stretching from San Diego to Oceanside,” Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin said in the announcement.

Construction is set to begin in the fall with completion in two years, pending funding, officials said.

The express lanes are among the final freeway projects in the Build North Coast Corridor program, part of a $6 billion, four-decade plan for highway, rail, bike, pedestrian and environmental improvements.

“The North Coast Corridor multi-billion-dollar improvements along I-5 are integral to the connectivity of the region,” SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said in the announcement.

Caltrans, SANDAG and the U.S. Department of Transportation are collaborating on Build NCC, which includes projects in Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. San Elijo Lagoon restoration has been part of the program, in addition to the double-tracking of the rail line and replacement of freeway and train bridges across the lagoon.

More information online: keepsandiegomoving.com/BuildNCC.

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