Rendering of the double express lanes planned for Interstate 5. Courtesy SANDAG

Local transportation planners received a milestone approval when the California Coastal Commission issued a permit for express lanes on Interstate 5 from Carlsbad to Oceanside.

The new lanes will be built from Palomar Airport Road to Route 78, with construction beginning in the fall of 2020 and completion scheduled in 2022.

When this segment is finished, there will be express lanes for 20 miles, from the Interstate 805 merge to Route 78.

“These express lanes are an integral part of the vision for this entire project, which includes rail, pedestrian and bike, and coastal infrastructure improvements stretching from San Diego to Oceanside,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin after the development permit was issued following the Coastal Commission’s November meeting.

The Build North Coast Corridor project is a $6 billion, four-decade program to improve highway, rail, bike and pedestrian transportation in coastal San Diego County.

“The North Coast Corridor multi-billion-dollar improvements along I-5 are integral to the connectivity of the region, “said SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata.

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