The Carlsbad City Council Tuesday approved future enhancements to the I-5 undercrossing at Chestnut Avenue. The enhancements will be part of the latest phase of construction of Caltrans and SANDAG’s North Coast Corridor Project, which includes I-5 construction from Carlsbad south to Del Mar.
Enhancements at Chestnut Avenue will include:
New bike lanes on both sides of the roadway
Improved connections to existing bike lanes along Chestnut Avenue to the east and west of the freeway
Three-foot striped buffer between parking and new bike lanes
Wider sidewalks, with curbs moved to provide better pedestrian crossings
Improved landscaping, with native shrubs and groundcovers and additional street trees
Enhanced landscaping facing Holiday Park
Opportunity to add public art
New retaining walls
Sloped paving and concrete ditches
Shielded LED street lighting fixtures
New lighting under the bridge
The enhancements will increase safety for both pedestrians and bicyclists by providing more protected routes under the freeway. Construction on the undercrossing at Chestnut Avenue is anticipated to begin in mid-2020 and completed in late 2022.
Caltrans and SANDAG also shared conceptual plans for the proposed enhancements to the I-5 undercrossing at Carlsbad Village Drive, which is expected to be completed in the second phase of the North Coast Corridor Project construction. The enhancements would be similar to Chestnut Avenue and generally include enhanced sidewalks, new lighting, opportunity for public art, new bike lanes and a striped buffer to separate the bike lanes from traffic.
Construction of the Carlsbad Village Drive enhancements would be more complicated due to interference with traffic on the freeway ramps, coordination of traffic signals operated by different agencies, drainage system, and additional right-of-way acquisitions from nearby property owners.
Funding is only available to complete improvements to one freeway undercrossing during the first phase of the North Coast Corridor Project construction, which is currently ongoing. Caltrans and SANDAG requested support from the city for which preferred undercrossing location to improve first. Based on various considerations, the city supported the selection of the Chestnut Avenue undecrossing improvements as the preferred location.
The improvements to Carlsbad Village Drive are planned to take place during the next phase of the North Coast Corridor Project construction.