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News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Construction to Begin on the Encinitas Segment of the Coastal Rail Trail


Encinitas CA— Construction broke ground Monday on a 1.3-mile segment of the Coastal Rail Trail bikeway in Encinitas, with crews beginning preliminary construction activities along San Elijo Avenue in the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Preliminary construction activities include removing vegetation, verifying underground utilities, and installing fencing around environmentally sensitive areas. This segment of bikeway will link the community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea with downtown Encinitas.
The Encinitas segment of the bikeway is a critical component of the 44-mile Coastal Rail Trail, a bike route that will run from the City of Oceanside to Downtown San Diego, and will help fill the bike connectivity gaps in Encinitas.
The $10 million bike project is part of Build NCC, a collaborative effort between the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and Caltrans District 11. It is comprised of three primary focus areas – Interstate 5 (I-5) Express Lanes Project, coastal rail and transit enhancements, and environmental protection and coastal access improvements.
“The Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail has been in the works for some time and we’re glad construction began,” said SANDAG Chair and Del Mar City Councilmember Terry Sinnott. “The project will give people more travel choices to many of the city’s most frequented areas.”
The bikeway will connect community assets, including the Encinitas COASTER Station, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, the Santa Fe Drive rail undercrossing, Swamis Seaside Park, George Berkich Park, Cardiff School, San Elijo and Cardiff state beaches, Harbaugh Seaside Parkway, downtown Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Glen Park.
During construction, nearby residents and businesses can expect intermittent construction noise and dust. In early May, parking along the bluff will be temporarily removed along San Elijo Avenue between Santa Fe Drive and Montgomery Avenue, and there will be intermittent traffic delays. Pedestrians and bicyclists can expect temporary trail closures.
Construction on the Encinitas segment of the Coastal Rail Trail is expected to be complete in early 2019, at about the same time that the rail San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project is anticipated to be completed.
Since 2013, the project has been presented at community meetings, various City of Encinitas committees, and to the Encinitas City Council as it progressed through planning stages. In May 2017, the California Coastal Commission voted to approve the project’s eastern alignment, which will parallel the west side of San Elijo Avenue along the coastal rail line from Chesterfield Drive to Santa Fe Drive.
Design, engineering, and construction of the Coastal Rail Trail segments are funded by federal, state, and local funds, including the regional TransNet half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG. Build NCC is a joint project of Caltrans, SANDAG, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.


About Build NCC

Build NCC is a collaborative effort between SANDAG, Caltrans, and United States Department of Transportation. The first phase of construction is in the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Carlsbad as part of the North Coast Corridor Program. Build NCC includes extending the existing carpool lane on I-5 in each direction from Lomas Santa Fe Drive to State Route 78, double tracking the rail line at the San Elijo Lagoon, replacing the highway and rail bridges at the San Elijo Lagoon, restoring the San Elijo Lagoon, and constructing nearly 10 miles of new bike and pedestrian trails. Construction on Build NCC began in early 2017 and will be complete by 2021. To learn more about Build NCC, visit:


The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.

About Caltrans

Caltrans District 11 serves one of the most geographically and culturally diverse areas in the country and includes San Diego and Imperial counties. It spans the entire California-Mexico Border from the Pacific coast to Arizona and reaches north from the international border to Orange and Riverside counties.
Follow @SDCaltrans on Twitter at and visit Caltrans San Diego on Facebook at for news related to state transportation in San Diego and Imperial counties.

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Construction to Begin on the Encinitas Segment of the Coastal Rail Trail