Pedestrian access improvements ready at Encinitas undercrossings

North Coast Current

Construction is complete on bicycle and pedestrian paths running under Interstate 5 at Santa Fe Drive and Encinitas Boulevard, Caltrans announced.

Several blank panels along the Santa Fe Drive undercrossing’s walls are ready for art installations by Encinitas high school students.

The paths are part of the joint Caltrans and San Diego Association of Governments’ Build NCC program, which includes expansion of Interstate 5, rail line upgrades and improvements for pedestrian circulation in the region.

“Bike paths and pedestrian spaces are crucial links to the state transportation system,” Gustavo Dallarda, Caltrans District 11 director, said in a July 31 news release. “Together, they help get people where they want to go safely. In coordination with SANDAG and our transportation partners, we will continue to aid in the development and construction of enhanced access to alternative modes of transportation.”

The project includes ADA-compliant sidewalks and dedicated bicycle lanes. The paths are separated from traffic by concrete barriers, which line both the north and south sides of the streets.

Retaining walls along the Santa Fe Drive undercrossing have a total of 53 panels ready for mosaics designed by a collaboration of San Dieguito Academy high school students and local artists.

The art is commissioned by the city of Encinitas.

“This project provided a great opportunity for our local artists of all ages,” Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear said in the news release. “The talent and teamwork exhibited in these art pieces offer a great representation of our coastal communities. We’re thrilled we were able to work with Caltrans and SANDAG to incorporate the community art and showcase all that our City has to offer.”

At the Encinitas Boulevard undercrossing, spaces are reserved for curved horizontal mosaics by professional artists. Installation by the city is slated for later this summer.

Upgrades to street lighting, traffic control and utility infrastructure are also part of the project.

The $869 million regional Build NCC program has been underway since 2017, according to Caltrans and SANDAG. Completion is expected by 2022. Funding comes from a combination of federal, state and local sources. The project’s highway portion costs an estimated $663 million.

encinitas current, cardiff current