REGION — A series of highly anticipated rail, freeway, pedestrian and bicycle projects in the Interstate 5 corridor kicked off unofficially this week, as Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments held a ceremonial groundbreaking to celebrate the start of the projects.
“Build NCC” is the name of the first package of improvements that are part of the 40-year North Coast Corridor program, a plan that took nearly a decade to approve.
It is a $700 million slate of projects that includes the widening of I-5 with the addition of a single express lane in each direction between state Route 78 and Lomas Santa Fe Drive, double tracking the rail line across the San Elijo and Batiquitos lagoons and the construction of bicycle and pedestrian bridges and connected trails, as well as a wide range of wetlands and lagoon restoration projects.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2020. Ultimately,
the $6.5 billion North Coast Corridor Program will stretch 27 miles from La Jolla to Oceanside.
SANDAG and Caltrans are hosting an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 6 at San Dieguito Academy, where the public can learn more about the projects and discuss the project with staff members from both agencies.