The SR 76 Middle Segment is the second of three improvement projects to the SR 76 corridor, located between I-5 and I-15. The Middle Segment stretches 5.5 miles from Melrose Drive to South Mission Road and serves a mixture of local, regional, and inter-regional traffic. Construction started in January 2010 to expand the existing highway from two lanes to four and was completed at the end of 2012.
Construction of the Middle Segment widened and realigned SR 76 to a four lane conventional highway to meet present travel needs and accommodate future growth.
Additional improvements to the Middle Segment included:
- Installing new signalized and full access intersections to improve the functionality of the roadway, including better local access
- Constructing a new two-lane bridge over the San Luis Rey River for eastbound traffic, reconfiguring the existing San Luis Rey River Bridge for westbound traffic
- Replacing both the Bonsall Creek Bridge and the Ostrich Farm Creek Bridge
- Installing median barrier to separate oncoming traffic
- Realigning curves to improve sight and stopping distances
- Providing new standard width shoulders in each direction to accommodate bicycles, pedestrians, as well as emergency parking
- Facilitating wildlife movement by constructing animal undercrossings and directional fencing
- Improving water quality by mitigating storm water run-off through the implementation of biofiltration swales/strips and new drainage systems
- Creating, restoring and preserving habitat areas
- Supporting San Luis Rey River Park plans
The project has been designed to meet three goals that will benefit the public. They are: 1) relieve existing and future traffic congestion; 2) improve motorist safety; and 3) protect and enhance the natural environment.
Construction was completed at the end of 2012, and all lanes are now open on the SR 76 Middle Segment between Melrose Drive and South Mission Road.
The estimated project cost is $171.4 million. Funding sources include $75.6 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and $16.8 million from Federal Demonstration Funds. State funds are contributing $13.5 million and the TransNet sales tax measure approved by San Diego County voters in 2004 is contributing $65.5 million.