The North Coast Corridor (NCC) Program offers a balanced transportation system to provide travelers choices for the future while enhancing the quality of life residents. In addition to the planned improvements for I-5, the NCC Program includes upgrades to the coastal rail and transit systems (LOSSAN), and environmental protection and coastal access enhancements.
What is being done to address traffic on I-5?
In order to improve mobility along the corridor, SANDAG and Caltrans have proposed the I-5 Express Lanes Project. The project will provide two Express Lanes in each direction along I-5 in the North Coast Corridor, serving carpools, vanpools, buses and solo drivers using FasTrak®. The Express Lanes ensures a reliable, congestion-free travel option throughout the corridor, which spans 27 miles from La Jolla Village Drive in San Diego to Harbor Drive in Oceanside.
What is the Locally Preferred Alternative for I-5?
In summer 2011, Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) identified the Express Lanes Only (8+4 with buffer/striping) option as the Locally Preferred Alternative for the I-5 Express Lanes Project after extensive public outreach and consideration of input from the community and resource agencies. This option would add two Express Lanes in each direction from La Jolla Village Drive in San Diego to Harbor Drive in Oceanside, separated from the existing general purpose lanes by a painted, striped buffer.
What are Direct Access Ramps and where will they be located?
A Direct Access Ramp (DAR) connects surface streets directly to Express Lanes in the center median, allowing carpoolers, vanpoolers, buses, motorcycles and solo drivers using FasTrak® to enter the Express Lanes without having to navigate through the freeway’s general purpose lanes. DARs directly connect to Park & Ride lots and help reduce the amount of traffic on other ramps in the area. Two DARs are proposed as part of the I-5 Express Lanes Project – one at Voigt Drive in University City and one at Manchester Avenue in Encinitas – and will help improve travel times and reduce congestion throughout the corridor.
What is the status of environmental process for I-5?
The selection of Locally Preferred Alternative facilitated additional technical studies related to how bridge lengths will be optimized to improve lagoon health. The results of those studies, in addition to updated information on the restoration and preservation of sensitive coastal habitats, and documentation of the Locally Preferred Alternative, will be provided in a Supplemental Draft Environmental Document (SDED). The public will have 45 days to review and comment on the SDED after it is released in summer 2012. The public comments received on the SDED, combined with the comments received on the Draft EIR/EIS, will be addressed in the project's Final EIR/EIS, which is scheduled to be completed in the fall of this year.
What will be done to address freeway noise?
SANDAG and Caltrans are fully committed to understanding traffic noise impacts and engaging property owners and communities throughout the process. As part of the NCC Program, 22 noise-mitigating walls have been proposed. The sound walls will help reduce noise from the freeway, enhancing residents’ quality of life.
In an effort to explore additional noise mitigation measures, Caltrans will commence a pilot project in the Summer of 2012 along a one-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Solana Beach, between Via de la Valle and Loma Santa Fe Drive, to study the effectiveness of a new diamond grinding method for reducing freeway noise. The grinding method, called Next Generation Concrete Surface, creates a smoother and quieter riding surface by removing uneven joints, cracks, warping and other freeway irregularities.
What transit improvements are proposed to reduce freeway congestion in the future?
The NCC Program offers a balanced transportation system to provide travelers new solutions for the future while enhancing the quality of life for residents. The NCC Program includes several transit improvement projects which will provide alternative travel modes thereby reducing freeway congestion. To see projects specific to the Golden Triangle area view the progress map.
As a companion to the I-5 freeway, the San Diego segment of the LOSSAN rail corridor plays a critical role in the movement of people and goods within the region’s North Coast Corridor. During the next 20 years, SANDAG plans to construct nearly $1 billion in improvements in the San Diego County section, including a primary effort to double track the corridor from Orange County to downtown San Diego.
In addition, the NCC Program includes plans for a Rapid Bus Route along Highway 101, which will provide rapid and frequent transit service through the use of signal priority and queue jumper lanes at major intersections along coastal communities.
When will construction begin on the I-5 Express Lanes Project and how long will it take to complete?
The I-5 Express Lanes Project will be constructed in three phases from 2013 – 2040. Once completed, the project will result in four Express Lanes, two in each direction, along I-5 from La Jolla Village Drive in San Diego to Harbor Drive in Oceanside. The three phases include:
Phase 1 (2013-2020)
• One High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane will be added in each direction on I-5 from La Jolla Village Drive to the I-5/I-805 merge. This project also includes the construction of a DAR at Voigt Drive.
• One HOV lane will be added in each direction on I-5 from Manchester Avenue to SR 78. This project also includes at DAR at Manchester Avenue and the replacement of the highway bridge at the San Elijo Lagoon.
Phase 2 (2021-2030)
• A second HOV/Express Lane will be added in each direction on I-5 from the I-5/I-805 merge to SR 56. This project also includes the widening of the lagoon bridge over Carmel Valley Creek.
• A second HOV/Express Lane will be added in each direction on I-5 from SR 56 to Manchester Avenue. The project also includes the widening of the highway bridge at the San Dieguito Lagoon.
• Two HOV/Express Lanes will be added in each direction on I-5 from Manchester Avenue to Palomar Airport Road. This project also includes the replacement of the highway bridge at the Batiquitos Lagoon.
Phase 3 (2031-2040)
• A second HOV/Express Lane will be added in each direction on I-5 from Palomar Airport Road to SR 78. This project also includes the replacement of the highway bridge at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
• Two HOV/Express Lanes will be added in each direction from SR 78 to Vandegrift Boulevard. Once completed, this project will result in four Express Lanes throughout the length of corridor, spanning 27 miles from San Diego to Oceanside. This project also includes the replacement of the highway bridges at the Buena Vista Lagoon and San Luis Rey River.
What is the difference between a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane and an Express Lane?
HOV lanes, or carpool lanes, serve vehicles carrying at least two and sometime three people, motorcycles and some zero-emission vehicles. In addition to users permitted to use the HOV lanes, Express Lanes serve solo drivers using FasTrak® who pay a toll to use the lanes.
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