The Coast News Group
El Portal project
The Encinitas City Council approved a $13 million railroad undercrossing off El Portal street. Courtesy rendering

Encinitas, SANDAG to host virtual meeting on Leucadia Streetscape, El Portal

ENCINITAS — The City of Encinitas and San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will host a virtual community meeting from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on November 17 to present additional information on the Leucadia Streetscape and El Portal Undercrossing projects and answer questions.

In recent months, the Encinitas City Council has greenlit both projects, awarding financial contracts for Phase 1 of Leucadia Streetscape on Oct. 21 and the El Portal Undercrossing on Aug. 12. Construction on both coastal improvement plans is due to begin later this year.

For those interested in attending the virtual event, SANDAG will post a link on its website and will upload the full presentation for viewing in the following days.

During the meeting, the city will also advise residents on how to stay up-to-date on construction schedules and answer any questions through the online engagement platform.

As per the city, Leucadia Streetscape Project includes:

  • Roundabout on Coast Highway 101 at El Portal
  • Connection to the El Portal Undercrossing
  • New bike lanes and wider sidewalks
  • Street lighting
  • Spaces to sit and gather
  • Improved crosswalks
  • Restoration of historic tree canopy (nearly 100 new trees planted)
  • Increased landscaping
  • New stormwater treatment through biofiltration
  • Increased access for businesses
  • Enhanced bus stops on Coast Highway 101

More information on Streetscape can be found here.

El Portal Undercrossing Project includes:

  • New under-the-tracks crossing connecting the Paul Ecke Central Elementary School and neighborhoods east of the tracks with Highway 101 businesses and the coastline
  • Enhanced rail, cyclist, and pedestrian safety
  • Improved access and circulation around railroad tracks
  • New ADA compliant sidewalks and walking paths
  • Additional stormwater control to prevent erosion and flooding
  • Increased landscaping
  • Public artwork and wayfinding signage

More information on the El Portal Undercrossing can be found here.

According to the city, these projects will “bring the community’s vision for this area to life by enhancing mobility within the rail corridor, increasing accessibility to the coastline, adding parking and traffic calming measures in the project area and preserving and revitalizing Coast Highway 101.”

During previous Encinitas City Council meetings, residents have questioned financial decisions regarding Streetscape construction and the issue sparked heated debates among this year’s mayoral and council candidates.

Any member of the public may attend the virtual meeting by signing up here, and call the public project hotline 760-512-3800 for any general questions, as well as email [email protected] for questions regarding Streetscape or [email protected] for questions regarding the El Portal Undercrossing.

1 comment

concerned November 18, 2020 at 7:04 pm

Part of the El Portal and streetscape phase 1 presentation last night. The city is still only advertising to residents a $7.3 million construction amount as the streetscape phase 1 costs and not including another cost of $3 million in companies to oversee, plan, and other related required work needed for a total of $10 million plus.
SANDAG is overseeing the construction of the El Portal undercrossing. That construction and oversight cost is estimated at $12.1 million now $13 million.
The city has promised an installment payment to SANDAG next year. Someone should cut up the city’s credit cards.
The city has no readily available yearly maintenance costs of this intensely landscaped 0.4 mile area of Highway 101.
Twenty thousand residents voted to keep Blakespear in office to sink the taxpayers of Encinitas into more debt.

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