Build NCC

Highway, rail, environmental, and coastal access improvement projects are underway in the cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas, and Carlsbad as part of Build NCC, the first package of projects being constructed through the 40-year North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program.

Build NCC includes rail double tracking, extended carpool lanes, new bike and pedestrian trails, and the restoration of the San Elijo Lagoon. These highway, rail, and lagoon improvements are being constructed simultaneously to minimize impacts to the lagoon and neighboring communities. 

Questions? Call our construction hotline at (844) NCC-0050 or email us at

To receive construction alerts via text message, text BuildNCC to 313131. 


Caltrans and SANDAG Build NCC highway construction crews will shift northbound and southbound Interstate 5 (I-5) traffic toward the outside of the new highway bridge. The southbound side is scheduled to shift during the week of February 2, and the northbound side is scheduled for the week of February 9. The traffic shifts will be completed at night to allow crews to re-stripe and re-set concrete barriers (k-rail). This shift is the first of several transitions that will be completed along the eight-mile stretch of I-5 construction over the next several months. Please note, construction schedules are subject to change.

The same number of lanes will remain in each direction during and after these traffic shifts, however, motorists will experience a curve in both directions over the San Elijo Lagoon highway bridge. Overnight lane closures will be required and may begin as early as 8 p.m., but no full freeway closures are planned. California Highway Patrol will provide short traffic breaks to lead motorists into the newly shifted lanes.

As always, please use caution and Drive 55 on the 5 in the Build NCC construction zone. Enhanced “Motorist Aid” can be accessed by dialing 5-1-1 anywhere in San Diego County.


In preparation to switch operations from the widened median to the outside shoulders of I-5 in early 2020, crews are removing trees and plants along the freeway in the cities of Encinitas and Carlsbad within the Caltrans Right of Way. By working together early, the Caltrans and SANDAG Build NCC project team worked to limit the project and construction footprint and minimize the number of trees and plants required to be removed. Please see the list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information.


Motorists traveling along the Build NCC corridor – the eight-mile stretch of Interstate 5 (I-5) between Manchester Avenue in the City of Encinitas and Palomar Airport Road in the City of Carlsbad – are advised of a speed limit reduction to 55 mph in both the north and southbound directions. The speed limit reduction took effect on March 11, 2019, and will be in place until project completion in 2022.

The speed limit reduction within the highway work zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the traveling public, and construction and public safety professionals as they work to construct the new I-5 Express Lanes. Construction signage will alert drivers as they enter and exit the construction zone. Electronic speed feedback signs also will be present to inform the public of their speed in relation to the reduced speed limit. Additionally, the California Highway Patrol will be actively working to ensure motorists are driving safely by enforcing the new, posted speed limit. To learn more about the reduced speed limit, click here


Local residents, businesses, and the traveling public can expect intermittent traffic delays, noise, dust, and heavy equipment near project areas as crews work to improve transportation options along the corridor. Nearby residents and businesses will be notified in advance of construction occurring near their property or business. Crews will work to minimize noise and other impacts to nearby residents. Your patience is appreciated during construction as we bring these important transportation improvements to North San Diego County. 

While construction crews are working in the median of the highway, the outside shoulder will always remain open for motorists to pull over should they need assistance. Motorist Aid will be available during daytime and weekday hours to help stranded vehicles get back on the highway. Simply call 511 in San Diego County and say “Roadside Assistance.” 


Community members and the traveling public are reminded that they have alternative transportation choices during construction on I-5. Learn about alternate transportation solutions and assistance for employers and commuters by visiting, calling 511 and saying “iCommute”, or emailing 


Provided below are a few key facts about Build NCC and the upcoming construction on I-5. 

• The extension of the Express Lane on I-5 is part of the first phase of construction on the North Coast Corridor (NCC Program).

• Work on this portion of I-5 will include 11 sound walls. 

• The planned sound walls will be built on private property and all typically require property owner participation and consensus. 

• The Express Lane in each direction between Manchester Avenue and Palomar Airport Road, and the sound walls will be complete by late 2021. 

• The first phase of construction on the North Coast Corridor Program, also known as Build NCC, was started in 2017 and will be complete in late 2022.

• The total Build NCC cost of I-5 improvements between Solana Beach and State Route 78 (SR-78) is approximately $850 million.   

• When complete, Build NCC will include the following project components:

o 13 miles of new highway Express Lanes 

o 1.5 miles of new rail double track 

o Seven miles of new bike and pedestrian paths 

o Over 1,200 acres of restored /preserved coastal habitat 


Project Features

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Key Documents

Factsheet Factsheet Factsheet Factsheet Pre-Construction Open House Display BoardsSanta Fe/Encinitas ImprovementsI-5/Manchester Avenue Interchange ImprovementsSegment two open house display boards