Construction starts on Encinitas pedestrian crossing
Getting across the railroad tracks to reach Swamis beach in Encinitas will soon be made easier and safer with the construction of a grade-separated pedestrian rail crossing off Highway 101 at Santa Fe Drive.
The $5.9 million project, which features a rail bridge, an undercrossing, and a new crosswalk and traffic signal on Highway 101, is expected to be completed in late 2012. This is one of four planned safety crossings in Encinitas and is designed to improve pedestrian safety and coastal access along the busy Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor.
More than 50 passenger and freight trains travel on this segment of the coastal rail line on weekdays. There is a significant amount of trespassing of the rail right-of-way. Currently, the nearest legal crossing to Santa Fe Drive is 1.3 miles to the south at Chesterfield Drive.
“Each day, pedestrians – including children – cross the tracks illegally, putting themselves at risk,” SANDAG Chair and Encinitas Mayor Jerome Stocks said. “By adding a safe, grade-separated pedestrian crossing at Santa Fe, residents, beachgoers, and businesses in the area will benefit from improved coastal access and no additional train horns.”
The Santa Fe crossing will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will provide safe connections not just for pedestrians, but also for cyclists headed to the planned Coastal Rail Trail.
In addition to Santa Fe, other crossings are planned in Encinitas at El Portal Street, Montgomery Avenue, and Hillcrest Drive. The total cost of the four crossings is estimated at $25.7 million, of which $6.7 million in state and local funds have been identified. The City of Encinitas has contributed $1.25 million. SANDAG has allocated $2.75 million from TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation.
The Encinitas pedestrian crossing project is one of 20 capital improvement projects now in development along the 60-mile segment of the LOSSAN rail line. Along with the planned I-5 Express Lanes project, the LOSSAN rail corridor is critical to moving goods and people through the North Coast Corridor.
SANDAG will build the project in collaboration with Encinitas and the North County Transit District. Caltrop will provide construction management services and FLATIRON will serve as general contractor. T.Y. Lin International is the principal design team engineering firm.
Additional project information can be found at www.KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/EncinitasPedCrossings.
View ribbon-cutting event photo album on Facebook.