I-5 Commuters Brace for First 8 Weeks of Carpool Lane Construction

The median of Interstate 5 has been cordoned off with concrete barriers from Manchester Avenue to Palomar Airport Road.

Drivers along Interstate 5 between Encinitas and Carlsbad can expect to see construction workers active along the highway for the next two months. Crews will begin removing existing pavement and vegetation in both directions of the highway Monday as part of the North Coast Corridor Program.

The median of I-5 has been cordoned off with concrete barriers from Manchester Avenue to Palomar Airport Road.

The project launching Monday is part of the Build NCC portion of the project and will extend carpool lanes on I-5 from Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach to State Route 78 in Oceanside.

Thirteen miles of new highway HOV and carpool lanes will be added to the very congested I-5 corridor.

When the project was first launched, daily traffic on the I-5 was more than 200,000 vehicles. That number of daily commuters was projected to increase to 300,000 by 2030, according to TransNet.

The work is scheduled to be completed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. with another shift starting at 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The schedule does not include Friday nights and weekends.

Build NCC work began in 2017 and is slated to be complete in late 2022.

The project is also expected to add 1.5 miles of new rail double track plus 7 miles of new bike and pedestrian paths.

The estimated cost was $3.1 billion in 2011 dollars. Of that, $483 million was slated to be used to build the additional carpool lanes, replace the San Elijo Bridge and construct sound walls.

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