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A rendering of the new roadway improvements along Santa Fe Drive in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
A rendering of the new roadway improvements along Santa Fe Drive in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
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Motorists urged to drive carefully as Santa Fe Drive work continues

ENCINITAS — Motorists in Encinitas are being reminded to slow down and follow instructions while construction continues along one of the city’s busiest roads. 

Safety improvements to Santa Fe Drive began a few months after the death of 15-year-old Brodee Champlain-Kingman. The San Dieguito Academy student was killed in June 2023 after his e-bike collided with a work van.

The city declared a state of emergency and adopted an ordinance increasing the enforcement of bike safety laws following the teen’s death.

Speaking at the time, state Sen. Catherine Blakespear (D-Encinitas), who helped secure $3.1 million in state funding for the project, said the fatal collision moved her to take action.

“The tragedy of Brodee’s death animated me to work even harder, and I think is a remembrance and recognition of the fact that we just all need to do better when it comes to our roads.” 

Once completed, the $7 million Santa Fe Drive Corridor Improvements Project will create signalized crossings, protected intersections and a protected bike lane with barriers to keep cyclists safe and separate them from vehicles.

Renderings of the new roadway improvements along Santa Fe Drive in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
Renderings of the new roadway improvements along Santa Fe Drive in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

Since Tri-Group Construction and Development broke ground on the improvements in January, workers have completed a new concrete sidewalk and bike lane stretching from Interstate 5 to the Nardo Road and Mackinnon Avenue intersection and along the east side of Mackinnon Avenue.

Construction is now advancing along the south side of Santa Fe Drive, starting from Gardena Road and moving eastward towards Evergreen Drive.

Work crews are currently in the area between the Nardo-Mackinnon and Bonita-Windsor intersections, demolishing the existing pavement and constructing protected bike lanes, a continuous concrete sidewalk, reverse-angle street parking and dedicated bus stops.

Following the completion of this portion, the contractor will proceed eastward toward Evergreen Drive.

Precautions currently in place during construction include electronic messaging boards, flashing beacons and signs. In a statement, the city of Encinitas urged people using the road to follow “all traffic control measures for the safety and convenience of everyone.”

Work is expected to be finished by late summer.

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