As project components in the SANDAG and Caltrans’ Build NCC program are beginning to take shape, community members may begin to notice new design features around the corridor and wonder how they came to be. These features are part of a broader, comprehensive set of design themes for the entire North Coast Corridor — the roughly 27-mile long stretch of transportation facilities between La Jolla and the City of Oceanside. The North Coast Corridor Design Guidelines have been carefully crafted, in consultation with the local cities and the California Coastal Commission, to ensure projects in the coastal zone reflect the natural beauty of North San Diego County, and the character of the local communities.
The North Coast Corridor Design Guidelines designate the sub-area that spans from La Jolla to south Carlsbad as the “Southern Bluff Theme Unit.” The design guidelines describe this area as, “best characterized by coastal bluffs of Torrey sandstone that buttress the coast as well as river valley slopes farther inland.” Retaining walls built in this project area are meant to reflect the coastal cliffs that line the North Coast Corridor. By using earth tones and rough surface textures, the design features allow project components to blend into the surrounding environment.
The retaining walls near the Interstate 5 (I-5)/Lomas Santa Fe Drive interchange in the City of Solana Beach is an excellent example of the design guidelines in action, and future indicator of the look and feel of the built-out Build NCC program. The rough textured sandstone look of the wall imitates the nearby scenic coastal bluffs. The vertical texture patterns and rust accent tiles along the wall give a nod to the naturally eroded bluffs of sandstone and cobble found throughout the corridor. The bridge walls are enhanced by city-sponsored mosaic art that reflects the local identity and community character.
While simple, these details demonstrate the holistic approach and careful attention paid to the natural surroundings within the North Coast Corridor. By incorporating the design guidelines, SANDAG and Caltrans are working to ensure the improvements made go beyond the transportation goals of the region and provide a reflection of the beautiful location north county residents call home. You can review the North Coast Corridor Design Guidelines at KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/BuildNCC.
About Build NCC
Build NCC is a collaborative effort between the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Caltrans, and the 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 and replacing the highway and rail bridges at the San Elijo Lagoon, restoring the San Elijo Lagoon, and constructing nearly seven miles of new bike and pedestrian trails. Construction on Build NCC began in early 2017 and will be complete by 2022.
Top: The enhanced retaining wall alongside Lomas Santa Fe Drive, under I-5 in the city of Solana Beach, features elements from the North Coast Corridor Design Guidelines that reflect the natural beauty of the coastline and character of the local community. Courtesy photo