The Coast News Group
Crews have been hard at work installing the new railroad track in Cardiff-by-the-Sea as part of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project. Courtesy photo
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Chesterfield Drive re-opens, project nears completion

ENCINITAS — Construction crews with the San Diego Association of Governments closed in on finishing the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project today by re-opening the Chesterfield Drive rail crossing in Cardiff by-the-Sea.

SANDAG also announced that a second railroad track went into service earlier this month. Both milestones are signs that the $76.8 million double- tracking project is reaching its end.

Once completed, according to SANDAG estimates, the project will have added 1.5 miles of a second railroad track between Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the San Elijo Lagoon, a new concrete rail bridge over the San Elijo Lagoon inlet and various infrastructure improvements along the new rail sections.

Those improvements include the Chesterfield Drive crossing, which received improved and additional rail crossing signals and gates, an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk with ramps and a multi-use bikeway and pedestrian path.

According to SANDAG, the improvements will aid bike and pedestrian safety and comply with the city of Encinitas’ quiet zone in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, which allows train engineers to forego sounding the train’s horn when approaching the intersection.

The project is part of SANDAG’s larger Build NCC (North Coast Corridor) program, a 40-year, $700 million effort to repair and expand vehicle and rail transportation infrastructure throughout San Diego County. SANDAG officials and work crews expect to finish the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project some time this spring.