A popular Encinitas rail crossing will close for much of the month as crews work on multi-million-dollar improvements, the San Diego Association of Governments announced on Dec. 31, 2018.
The Chesterfield Drive Rail Crossing was closed from Jan. 2 through Jan. 23 to motorists.
Rail services continued as normal and the area remained open for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Chesterfield Drive, which crosses the train tracks in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, links Encinitas to U.S. Route 101. It’s used by 17,000 motorists every day, according to SANDAG.
SANDAG said the construction improved safety and efficiency in the area.
The following renovations include:
- Constructing a multi-use Class I bikeway and pedestrian path
- Building new ADA accessible sidewalks and ramps
- Installing new traffic signal and rail crossing equipment
- Modernizing and enhancing crossing warning system
- Improving rail crossing signals and gates
- Adding improved safety signage
- Grading and reconstructing travel lanes for a smoother transition across the railroad
As part of Encinitas’ goal for a Quiet Zone for Cardiff-by-the-Sea, the upgrades eliminated the need for passing trains to use their horns when approaching the crossing.
The price of the project is estimated to be $6.2 million. Federal and local TransNet funds will cover these costs, SANDAG said.
The following detour was created in the meantime:
- Northbound San Elijo Avenue and northbound Coast Highway 101 to D Street (large trucks to use Encinitas Boulevard)
- Southbound San Elijo Avenue to Lomas Santa Fe Drive (via Manchester Avenue and Interstate 5 south) and southbound Coast Highway 101 to Lomas Santa Fe Drive in the City of Solana Beach
Detour signs were posted throughout the area.
The construction is part of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project, an Encinitas and Solana Beach collaborative effort to improve its railways and surrounding areas, according to the project’s website.