Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Vice Chair Catherine Blakespear leads bicyclists in the opening of the Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail. Photo courtesy SANDAG

The San Diego Association of Governments and its state and local agency partners have completed a trio of projects in Encinitas spanning three modes of transportation.

The projects are the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track, Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail, and Chesterfield Drive Improvement in the Cardiff neighborhood.

The work included 1.5 miles of double-tracked rail line for Amtrak and Coaster trains, 1.3 miles of bike and pedestrian pathway, and safety and mobility improvements at the Chesterfield Drive rail crossing.

SANDAG officials joined elected officials and representatives from Caltrans, the North County Transit District, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the California Transportation Commission at an opening celebration on Thursday.

“It is exciting to see this long-awaited project come to fruition because it is an important step toward making regional transportation more accessible,” said Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Vice Chair Catherine Blakespear. “For Encinitas in particular, we were the recipient of $100 million in mobility investments thanks to our public agency partners here today.”

“Our residents have expressed continued interest in alternative, yet convenient, ways to travel throughout our city without a car. The Coastal Rail Trail is one project that provides just that solution,” she added.

The projects, which were funded by the TransNet half-cent sales tax, are part of the larger North Coast Corridor program, which includes widening of Interstate 5.

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Chris Jennewein

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