Rendering of Santa Fe Drive improvements
Rendering of improvements planned at Santa Fe Drive. Courtesy SANDAG

Work is soon set to begin on bike and pedestrian improvements on Santa Fe Drive and Encinitas Boulevard as part of a 40-year North County infrastructure project, Caltrans announced Friday.

Construction near the Interstate 5 overpass at Santa Fe Drive is set to start before mid-month, and work at the freeway’s intersection at Encinitas Boulevard will begin later this spring, according to the state’s transportation agency.

Both areas will see the construction of separated bike and pedestrian lanes along the east and westbound lanes in an aim to increase North County east-west connectivity.

Motorists should expect narrowed lanes and intermittent delays and noise during construction. A path will be maintained along one side of each street for bikes and pedestrians during the 18 months it’s expected to take to complete the improvements in each area.

The work is part of Build NCC (North Coast Corridor), which includes extending the carpool lanes on the I-5 in each direction through Encinitas and Carlsbad; double-tracking the rail line from Cardiff-by-the-Sea to Solana Beach; replacing the highway and rail bridges at the San Elijo and Batiquitos lagoons; restoring the San Elijo Lagoon; and constructing nearly 10 miles of new bike and pedestrian trails.

Build NCC is the first phase of a 40-year program and is expected to be completed by 2021 at a cost of $700 million. It is funded through federal and state dollars and SANDAG’s TransNet, the local half-cent sales tax for transportation uses.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.