Bridge Construction to Ease SR 78 Traffic: Caltrans

Planners will be replacing the Nordahl Road Bridge to help ease the traffic on the ramps to and from SR 78.

By R. Stickney and Rory Devine
|  Thursday, Feb 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:00 AM PDT
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Highway Project Breaks Ground

Bill Figge with Caltrans tells NBC 7's Rory Devine how a project will widen Highway 78 and ease gridlock on one of the county's most problematic bridges.
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If you needed proof that San Marcos was the county's most congested traffic hub in the county, go no further than Wednesday's announcement by Caltrans and SANDAG.

As regional leaders gathered along Nordahl Road near Montiel Road, many arrived later than expected because of a traffic accident and the congestion it caused.

The groundbreaking was held to celebrate the third phase in a highway widening project.

A new auxiliary lane has already opened along State Route 78. Another new lane is currently under construction from Woodland Parkway to the Nordahl Bridge.

Now, planners will be replacing the Nordahl Road Bridge to help ease the traffic on the ramps to and from SR 78.

"It's really the first step in additional improvements to 78 that will be taking place. By widening the bridge and putting in a longer bridge it will put us in a position to be able to add additional lanes to the freeway," said Bill Figge of Caltrans.

Caltrans is also studying the possibility of adding HOV or toll lanes to the freeway to help improve the commute Figge said.

Cities of Escondido and San Marcos are working with Caltrans and SANDAG to complete the $41.1 million effort.

Caltrans and SANDAG are already working to widen eastbound and westbound State Route 78. These two phases should be finished by the end of the year or next.

The bridge construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Let us know what you think. Comment below, send us your thoughts via Twitter @nbcsandiego or add your comment to our Facebook page.

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