North Harbor Drive at the San Diego International Airport. Image from Google Maps

Taking advantage of reduced traffic due to the pandemic, city crews have begun repaving the stretch of North Harbor Drive connecting downtown to San Diego International Airport and Pt. Loma.

It will be the first major facelift for one of the city’s busiest surface streets in two decades.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer was joined Tuesday morning by City Councilman Mark Kersey and Kimberly Becker, president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, to announce the project.

“First impressions are important, and the first thing most people see when they come to San Diego is the bumpy ride as they leave the San Diego International Airport,” Faulconer said. “This stretch of road is so busy that there’s never really a convenient time to make repairs, so we’re taking advantage of the reduced traffic from the statewide stay-at-home order to overhaul and improve this major thoroughfare for the first time in two decades.”

Starting Monday, the city began repaving a 3.3-mile stretch from Ash Street to Nimitz Boulevard in both directions. In addition, the project includes buffered bike lanes through striping modifications. The work is expected to take three weeks.

“Harbor Drive is a critical artery helping people get to and from the airport. So we were excited to see the city moving forward with plans to rehabilitate this roadway,” said Becker, “and we want to thank Mayor Faulconer for his leadership on this project.”

The airport remains open, but traffic volume in the area is down 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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Chris Jennewein

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