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A visual simulation of the new Carpool/High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane in each direction on Interstate 5 in the city of Encinitas. Courtesy photo
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Caltrans, SANDAG enter next stage of I-5 construction

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Interstate 5 Carpool/HOV Lane Construction Update

Caltrans and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Build North Coast Corridor (NCC) crews have entered the next stage of Interstate 5 (I-5) construction. Last week, crews began shifting construction operations from the I-5 median to the outside shoulders in both north and southbound directions between Birmingham Drive in the City of Encinitas and Palomar Airport Road in the City of Carlsbad.

This transition will be performed in two phases:

Phase 1: Birmingham Drive to Batiquitos Lagoon

Phase 2: Batiquitos Lagoon to Palomar Airport Road

Together, both phases of the transition are anticipated to take a total of eight to 10 weeks to complete (excluding Saturday and Sunday nights, and holidays). The transition will occur during overnight shifts, between 7:30 p.m. and 5 a.m., and begins with the relocation of concrete barriers (k-rail) from the I-5 median to the outside shoulders followed by restriping of the I-5 travel lanes to shift traffic toward the median.

Crews have worked over the past 18 months to complete inside freeway widening and new median barrier construction. By shifting work to the outside, crews will be able to complete the I-5 widening work to accommodate one new Carpool/High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane in each direction on I-5. Once complete, I-5 will be widened an average of eight to 10 feet and all existing I-5 on and off ramps within the Build NCC project limits will be realigned to tie into the future widened freeway.

To ensure safety for both motorists and the construction crews, drivers are reminded to “Drive 55 on the 5” in the Build NCC construction zone. The SANDAG operated Motorist Aid service for roadside assistance can be easily accessed by dialing 5-1-1 anywhere in San Diego County.

Additionally, the “Move Over” law requires all drivers to move over a lane or, if they are unable to do that safely, slow down when they see amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles, law enforcement and emergency vehicles, and tow trucks.

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.

1 comment

Emile Shlemon May 12, 2020 at 11:05 am

This is such a waste, one hov lane would be enough, not two !

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