Standing in front of new columns, Ron Roberts points to where the trolley will cross Interstate 5. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The 11-mile northward extension of the San Diego Trolley is beginning to change the landscape in University City, with giant concrete columns snaking through the area.

SANDAG Chair and County Supervisor Ron Roberts said Friday that after a year of lower-profile work largely below ground, construction crews are well along casting the giant columns that will carry elevated tracks.

“Now we’re out of the ground. As you can see with these columns, people are noticing,” said Roberts, who led media on a tour of the future location of the Voight Drive Station.

The $2 billion project, half funded by the TransNet sales tax and half by the federal government, takes San Diego’s mass transit system north from Old Town to the UC San Diego Campus and the Westfield UTC shopping center.

Roberts said the project, officially the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension, is on schedule to open in 2021.

He stressed that SANDAG and its contractors are striving to minimize disruption, with any road closures scheduled at night or on the weekend.

Completed columns near Scripps Memorial Hospital. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein

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