As part of TransNet’s “Keep San Diego Moving” project, the North Coast Corridor (NCC) looks to improve the regional mobility and coastal access for county residents. Highway capacity improvements include facilities that move more people, not just by car. This will also improve reliability and capacity along the rail corridor for intercity, commuters and freight rail services while protecting and enhancing the environment. A video overview of the project can be viewed here.
TransNet is the voter approved half-cent sales tax for San Diego region transportation projects. It is administered by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). During the 60-year life of the program, funds have been generated and distributed among highway, transit and local road projects in approximately equal thirds.
Partnering with NCC project is the Southern California Partnership for Jobs (SCPFJ). SCPFJ is a true partnership between organized labor and construction management that represents more than 2,750 construction firms who employ more than 90,000 union workers in the twelve counties of Southern California. With a primary focus on Southern California projects, the Partnership advocates responsible investment in public infrastructure projects to help fix our aging transportation networks, water, sewer and storm drain systems, while building for our future needs and economic growth.
The Corridor construction started in December 2017 and when completed will connect 12 miles of highway through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and San Diego. This expansion project in North San Diego County has been made possible through funds from SB1. Through this funding, more than $250 million has been allocated to preserve and enhance sensitive coastal habitats and improve coastal access.
“Working in the heavy civil construction industry, you work on a lot of projects that receive opposition from the public,” said Mike Spain, Vice President of Skanska USA Civil. “The North Coast project has been a pleasure to work on since it is so community linked and is improving the quality of life so dramatically.”
NCC’s goal is to offer a balanced transportation system to provide travelers choices for the future while enhancing the quality of life for residents. This program brings together three primary focus areas – the Interstate 5 (I-5) Express lanes Project, coastal rail and transit enhancements and environmental protection.
Part of improving Coastal Access is to expand the Regional Bike Network through Interstate 5 and the coastal rail line to reduce barriers to the coastline for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The LOSSAN rail corridor is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the nation supporting commuter, intercity and freight rail services. LOSSAN is a 351-mile rail corridor that stretches from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, connecting major metropolitan areas of Southern California and the Central Coast. Train operations on the line include Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner; the Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s Metrolink and the North County Transit District’s COASTER and SPRINTER passenger rail services, along with Union Pacific and BNSF Railway freight rail services.
As a finished project, which is estimated to be completed by December 2021, it will increase the capacity of the highway and improve traffic. Double-tracks will reduce travel times via rail. There will be a large environmental enhancement to San Elijo lagoon and coastal access is improved through the addition of pedestrian and bike paths in the coastal zones.
During the next 20 years, SANDAG plans to construct nearly $1 billion in improvements in the San Diego segment, including a primary effort to double track the corridor from Orange County to Downtown San Diego. The project is also implementing ways to minimize the impact on the area’s coastal lagoons. As aging rail and highway bridges are replaced with modern structures, the new designs will feature longer spans with fewer piers in the water. The smaller footprint of these bridges will help to improve tidal flow in many of the lagoons, resulting in healthier coastal environments.
The Project is working with Caltrans and SANDAG North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program to balance transportation, environmental areas and coastal access projects to improve the quality of life for residents, create a stronger local and regional economy for the future, and enhance the coastal environment.
For more than a decade, Caltrans, SANDAG, local cities, resource agencies, and community members have been working together to identify, refine, and implement projects to comprehensively address the needs of the North Coast Corridor.