The Coast News Group
Aerial of San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas
Aerial of San Elijo Lagoon in Encinitas (December 2021). Courtesy photo
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Caltrans, SANDAG Build NCC celebrate 2021 achievements

The Caltrans and SANDAG Build NCC project team is acknowledging another year of project successes throughout North San Diego County. Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Build NCC crews have safely tracked towards the completion of highway, environmental, community enhancement, and coastal access improvement projects as part of the North Coast Corridor Program.

Most notably, this fall Build NCC crews began the final construction segment which will allow for four new miles of Carpool/HOV Lanes on Interstate 5 (I-5) from Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad to State Route 78 (SR 78). The new Carlsbad Carpool/HOV Extension features the first temporary orange lane striping pilot program in California to enhance construction zone awareness and alert motorists of the reduced speed limit.

By early 2022, Build NCC crews are expected to complete six sound walls along I-5 that will provide noise abatement to the communities in Encinitas and Carlsbad, and additionally crews will complete construction on the San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge. Throughout this past year, crews have conducted 19 ramp closures and additional highway improvements to prepare for 13 miles of new Carpool/HOV Lanes on I-5 from Lomas Santa Fe Drive in the city of Solana Beach to Palomar Airport Road in the city of Carlsbad. One northbound and one southbound HOV Lane is expected to be open to traffic in early 2022 to help alleviate traffic congestion in the corridor.

In 2021, we aimed to improve the quality of life for all residents by enhancing our communities. Build NCC crews created a new signalized crosswalk at the Manchester Avenue and San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center crossing to allow visitors to safely traverse the busy street.

Looking forward to next year, the bike and pedestrian suspension bridge underneath the San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge will be complete. After opening in April 2022, pedestrians will be able to travel across the San Elijo Lagoon and have access to over 7 miles of trails within the lagoon. Cyclists will also be able to bike safely in a new class II bike lane on Manchester Avenue, heading west from the pedestrian suspension bridge.

The Build NCC team is proudly working towards building a sustainable transportation network that will serve the community for years to come. We thank you for your patience throughout construction.

The Build NCC project is an example of the projects proposed in the 2021 Regional Plan.

The 2021 Regional Plan is a long-term blueprint for the San Diego region that seeks to improve quality of life, address social equity, and preserve our environment for generations to come. It is designed to reimagine the San Diego region with a transformative transportation network, a sustainable pattern of growth and development, and innovative demand and management strategies.

As you travel for the holidays, please remember to “Drive 55 on the 5” in Build NCC construction zones and that traffic fines are doubled. Motorists should also Be Work Zone Alert, move over a lane when safe to do so to avoid workers on the side of the road, slow down, and never enter active construction work areas.

From our engineering and construction family to yours, we wish you a safe, healthy and happy new year!

For more information, please visit, and sign up for text alerts by texting “BuildNCC” to (760) 454-0050.