In a few short weeks another 3.5 miles of congestion-free Express Lanes will open on the I-15, extending them north from Rancho Bernardo Road to Centre City Parkway in Escondido. This important I-15 construction milestone will complete the eight-mile Middle Segment of the lanes – the first 4.5 miles opened in September of last year.
When complete in 2012, the entire 20-mile project will stretch from SR 163 all the way to SR 78. Construction is scheduled to continue during the next four years on the four-mile Northern Segment through the City of Escondido and the widening of the original eight-mile Southern Segment between SR 163 and SR 56.
In addition to a new four-lane expressway within a freeway, the freshly minted Middle Segment will offer improved trip reliability and reduced travel time for the Metropolitan Transit System commuter Express Buses, providing quick boardings and additional parking spaces for commuters.
Two new transit stations – at Rancho Bernardo Road and Del Lago Boulevard (North County Fair) – will open in a few weeks along with the rest of the Middle Segment. The Sabre Springs/Peñasquitos Transit Center opened along with the first piece of the Middle Segment in September.
With the new and recently opened access points to the Express Lanes, MTS Routes 810, 820, 850, and 860 riders can expect a hassle-free ride to and from downtown San Diego. Carpoolers, vanpoolers, and FasTrak users also will enjoy direct access to the Express Lanes and congestion-free travel up and down I-15.
When the entire facility is complete, it will feature five Transit Centers providing a number of amenities, including priority direct access ramps for buses, carpools, vanpools, and FasTrak customers. A new, high-frequency Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system also will operate in these lanes.
For a customized transit trip planner and route information, visit www.511sd.com/transit.
Derek Toups, Associate Regional Planner