The Coast News Group
Motorists will experience a curve in both directions on I-5 after early February traffic shift. Courtesy photo
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Build NCC crews prepare to shift I-5 traffic onto new San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge

The new year marks a significant milestone for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) as the Build NCC program has officially reached the halfway point.

The significant progress made to date by Build NCC construction crews move the region closer toward the goal of realizing the SANDAG “5 Big Moves” framework and the creation of a complete corridor that delivers a diverse set of multimodal transportation choices that provide quality of life improvements throughout north coastal San Diego County.

Once complete in 2022, the Build NCC program will accommodate the addition of one new High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lane (or carpool lane) in each direction, between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in the City of Solana Beach and State Route 78 (SR 78) in the City of Oceanside.

Coinciding with the halfway point, the Caltrans and the SANDAG Build NCC highway construction crews will begin work to rebuild the inside of the highway bridge over the San Elijo Lagoon.

As part of this work, construction crews will shift northbound and southbound I-5 traffic to the new outside highway bridges. The same number of lanes will remain in each direction; however, motorists will experience a curve in both directions over the San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge.

The traffic shifts are anticipated to take place in early February and will be completed at night over the course of two weeks.

Overnight lane closures will be required, but no full freeway closures are planned. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will provide brief traffic breaks during this nightwork, allowing crews to reset traffic control to help guide motorists onto the shifted lanes.

The traffic shift marks a significant milestone in the construction of the San Elijo Lagoon Bridge.

Following the traffic shift, construction crews will move forward with demolishing the old bridge and complete the project with the construction of the new inside bridge.

This shift is also the first of several transitions that will be completed along the eight-mile stretch of I-5 construction over the next several months.

All motorists are reminded to “Be Work Zone Alert, Move Over” a lane when safe to do so when highway workers are present and to “Drive 55 on the 5” in the Build NCC construction zone for their safety and the safety of construction crews.

In case of emergency, Motorist Aid is offered throughout the Build NCC construction zone and can be easily reached by dialing 5-1-1 anywhere in San Diego County.

For more information on the Build NCC Project, please visit, email [email protected], or call 844-NCC-0050.

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.

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