Groundbreaking ceremony for new carpool lanes
Officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new carpool lanes. Courtesy SANDAG

Officials from Caltrans and SANDAG joined local elected leaders Friday to mark the beginning of construction for eight miles of carpool lanes on Interstate 5 in North County.

The $195 million project will add high-occupancy lanes in the median of the highway from Manchester Avenue to Palomar Airport Road as well as 11 sound walls.

“Local residents and the tens of  millions of visitors who enjoy the wonderful San Diego region will welcome the addition of the new carpool lanes,” said Caltrans Director Laurie Berman. “This is such a vital roadway, linking commerce and commuters alike, and these carpool lanes ensure enhanced mobility on I-5.”

The work will be paid for by Senate Bill 1‘s gas tax increase. That funding faces an uncertain future because of Proposition 6 on the Nov. 6 ballot, but most polls show the repeal measure losing.

Officials said residents near I-5 in Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad can expect to see construction equipment and vehicles moving in and out of the work areas.

The lanes are expected to be completed by 2021. A future extension of the HOV lanes from Palomar Airport Road to State Route 78 is scheduled to start as the southern  lanes near completion.

Chris Jennewein

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