Public meetings set for proposed widening of Interstate 5 from La Jolla to Oceanside Harbor Drive

SAN DIEGO – Two public meetings have been scheduled to help local and state officials gather feedback and answer questions about the $6.5 billion North Coast Corridor Program, a proposed combination of widened freeway and additional train tracks along 27 miles of North County beaches.

The latest version of the Caltrans/San Diego Association of Government transit plan for North County includes widening the 5 Freeway from La Jolla Village Drive to Harbor Drive in Oceanside.

A new combination tollway-carpool expressway, two lanes in each direction, would be added to the coastal freeway, and merging or exit lanes and ramp improvements would also be built.

Train tracks used by the Coaster and Amtrak trains would be bolstered with a second track along the entire coast.

The project would also enhance the corridor’s six lagoons and improve coastal access by adding bicycle and pedestrian paths, according to Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments.

In addition to the four added freeway lanes, the blueprint includes lengthening rail and highway bridges and coastal access elements like a planned 27-mile North Coast Bike Trail. It will also address anticipated sea level rise, because much of the rail tracks and other infrastructure is very near sea level.

An implementation blueprint for the improvements was re-released Friday, Mar. 1 for a 60-day review and comment period. It was initially released in 2010, officials said.

The blueprint must be considered by the California Coastal Commission, and if approved it would be constructed in phases through 2040, officials said.

The public may comment on how the project would affect coastal access and other resources, either in writing or by attending two meetings: at 6 p.m. April 3 at the La Jolla Country Day School, 9490 Genesee Ave., or at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Carlsbad Senior Center at 799 Pine Ave.

Comments can also be submitted via email to [email protected] or by mail to Shay Lynn M. Harrison, Environmental Analysis Branch Chief, Caltrans, District 11, 4050 Taylor St., Division of Environmental Analysis, MS 242, San Diego, CA, 92110.

The project’s EIR is online at

8 Responses to "Public meetings set for proposed widening of Interstate 5 from La Jolla to Oceanside Harbor Drive"

  1. T   March 3, 2013 at 7:07 am

    First the taxpayer pays for the construction of the project, then he or she pays again for using the final product. I vote for 4 more lanes and no toll.

  2. Lee   March 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

    T, I could not agree more with your premise!

    Let me get this straight. The widening of a rinky-dinky short distance of a freeway, 27 miles, and some other stuff will cost . . . $6.5 billion? That’s billion with a B, folks! UNBELIEVABLE! What is happening to us as a nation? Politicians and contractors should have constructed this freeway AS THEY SHOULD EVERY FREEWAY the right way from the get-go fully anticipating and knowing the growth here in SoCal instead of leaching and leaching and leaching more and more money from the seemingly unlimited supply of money, you and I the taxpayer! But no, instead they construct roads in stages . . . thus, ensuring THEIR job security and income.

    That’s how things work, folks.

    Unbelievable! And then, as T points out, they have the nerve to charge for the express lanes that YOU AND I ALREADY PAID FOR?! If this isn’t a blatant crime that EVERY judge should strike down, then I don’t know what is. This is extortion plain and simple.

    Why do you and I, the people, sit there with our thumbs up our rear-ends and stand for this? Yes, of course, the I-5 needs widening. We all know that. But why at such a great price-tag, and why have toll lanes after we have already paid for this construction?

    Unreal! It’s nothing short of a crime.

  3. Disgusted   March 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    It is going to get worse before it gets better…. no wait… it isn’t going to get any better…. never mind.

  4. Preston   March 5, 2013 at 9:28 am

    @Lee & T
    The reason this goes on, is because during all those prosperous years "We the People" became apathetic and stopped doing our job. We allowed governments to do whatever because we all had it so good and simply didn’t care. Now that times are tough and things are out of control we (as you point out) sit there with our thumb up our rear-end. We are overwhelmed with the mess we created and can’t fathom paying the price to correct the mistakes. We continue to ignore the problem, vote like idiots and do not even require government enforce national laws — A sure sign we are doomed.

  5. Lee   March 5, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Preston, I don’t disagree with you! What I would add is that our government has duped us into believing that it acts in a DEMOCRATIC way . . . which it does not! (And yes, you are correct, Preston, we, the people, are standing by idly, ignorantly and, perhaps most important of all, COWARDLY . . . doing very little or nothing.)

    This construction project illustrates my point beautifully.

    Here is a project that will cost $6.5 BILLION dollars . . . and there are only TWO, count ’em, TWO rinky-dinky public meetings?! [Pause] Are you kidding me? When THAT much taxpayers’ money is involved, there should be 200 public meetings and not just two! Hello! Sure, the process looks democratic by having two public meetings and that folks are able to email their input in. Sure! But it actually is not: two meetings are in no way, shape or form enough number of meetings for such a large project costing so much money, and individual emails are, for all intents and purposes, useless . . . because they are not transparent, i.e., the people cannot see each other’s input . . . but ONLY the receiver of the emails can. You see? That is VERY convenient for the receiver of the communication/emails, i.e., the entity that builds the project and gets to spend your and my money!

    Here is what I hope DOES happen! I hope that ALL the people at these two precious meetings exchange and collect each other’s email addresses, and THEN each person email his/her comments to the entity building this project . . . while cc-ing ALL the other people PLUS all local politicians PLUS — and most important! — all media agencies so that TRUE and TRANSPARENT communication is achieved instead of sweeping things under the rug which is what the current communication process is.

    You see?

    TRUE transparency in communication — THAT’S what needs to happen for a TRUE democracy! And our media MUST do its part in keeping things transparent!

    The second huge problem, to me, in this project is that the taxpayers’ money is collected . . . yet only a single entity gets to spend this money? Are you kidding me? That is NOT democracy! That is — and I hate to sound like some Grandpa Frankie, but it’s true — that is pure socialism and communism! TRUE democracy is when you have a referendum during which THE PEOPLE get to vote on how this money is spend, and to know why it costs so much, etc. And NO, this is NOT a cumbersome process in this Age of Communication and Information! Don’t let anybody fool or cower you into thinking otherwise! Today in this Age of Communication, the people being able to vote on issues and communicate effectively on them is absolutely NO problem! (Heck, most of us hold a more powerful computer in our hands, these days, than ALL the computers combined that launched the first man to the moon! And that’s a fact! And so we are to believe that in 2013 we, the people, CANNOT and are NOT ALLOWED to communicate together and decide TOGETHER on such a large project as this one? Are you kidding me?!)

    As I read this article and see the blatant NON-democratic process involved, I can only shake my head and say . . . that N. Korea and China, et al. would be proud!

  6. Me   March 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Every one here is preaching to the choir because as we keep seeing year after year…California residents keep putting Democrats in office even though they have been proven by the past 25 years to be worthless.

    Only in California would a rotten governor from the 80’s be placed back in office by the voters 30 years later…..

  7. Lee   March 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Me, please spare us the silly politics! May I remind you that (A) we just a Republican "governator" and (B) this particular issue is neither a Republican or Democratic issue.

    Me, pull your head out of your rear-end . . . and stop intimidating the people!

  8. Seriously   March 6, 2013 at 6:50 am

    @Lee – only in California would Arnold be considered a Republican.


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