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Build NCC Celebrates Halfway Point Milestone

SANDAG and Caltrans Start Preparations for Early-February Traffic Shift on the San Elijo Lagoon Highway Bridge

To download footage from the event, please click here.

January 29, 2020 - SANDAG and Caltrans joined law enforcement and labor leaders early yesterday morning off Manchester Avenue in the City of Encinitas to celebrate a significant transportation milestone in north San Diego County.

Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG Vice Chair Catherine Blakespear and Caltrans District 11 North Coast Corridor Director Allan Kosup joined Officer Mark Latulippe of the California Highway Patrol and Tom Lemmon, Business Manager for the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO to celebrate construction crews reaching the halfway point on I-5 improvements, a critical component of the comprehensive Build NCC suite of highway, rail, environmental, and mobility improvements.

Once complete in 2022, Build NCC will add one new high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction on I-5, between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in the City of Solana Beach and State Route 78 in the City of Oceanside.

“I thank everyone involved in this project – from the elected officials, our agency partners, the planners and engineers, the joint-venture contractor, our trade workers, and the community,” said Allan Kosup, North Coast Corridor Director for Caltrans District 11. “This halfway point of the I-5 improvements marks the progress made in our region’s efforts to deliver a diverse set of multimodal transportation choices and quality of life improvements throughout north coastal San Diego County.”

The halfway point also coincides with the first important shift of traffic in both northbound and southbound directions. In early February, the traffic shifts will push motorists to a new highway bridge over the San Elijo lagoon. This shift is the first of several transitions that will be completed along the eight-mile stretch of I-5 construction during the next several months.

The shift in traffic over the bridge is necessary to allow construction crews to lengthen the highway bridge to improve tidal flow in the lagoon and to widen the bridge to accommodate one additional HOV lane in each direction.

“This project is just the beginning of a larger vision of a Complete Corridor by increasing travel options along Interstate 5 in North County,” said SANDAG Vice Chair and Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. “On behalf of SANDAG, I want to thank the men and women who are working tirelessly to increase the overall safety, sustainability, and quality of life for all San Diegans.”

The lane shifts are temporary and will be realigned upon completion of the bridge in 2021.

The traffic shifts are scheduled to be completed at night over the course of two weeks, beginning the week of February 3. The number of lanes along I-5 will not be reduced during construction. 

Once the lanes are shifted, motorists will experience a slight curve in both northbound and southbound directions as they approach and depart the bridge.

To ensure safety for both motorists and the construction crews, drivers are reminded to “Drive 55 on the 5” in the Build NCC construction zone. Motorist Aid assistance can be easily accessed by dialing 5-1-1 anywhere in San Diego County.

To learn more and to sign up for project email updates, visit Text “BuildNCC” to 313131 to sign up to receive construction text alerts.

The Build NCC project began in 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in 2022.The $869 billion project is funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources. The highway portion of Build NCC is estimated to cost $663 million.

Project Manager(s)

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or