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San Diego's Mid-Coast Trolley Project: Final Stretch & Road Closures

Road closures during the final phase of construction for the Mid-Coast Trolley Project begin on April 16, impacting the UC San Diego area

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What to Know

  • The Mid-Coast Trolley Project -- one of the largest infrastructure projects in San Diego's history -- will extend UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley service from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego north to the University community, serving major stops along the way
  • Construction on the 11-mile project began 5+ years ago, and service is expected to begin in late 2021
  • The final stretch of construction starts on April 16, bringing some road closures for the next few weeks. Check here for the latest closure info

A years-long, large-scale transportation project that extends one of the trolley lines in San Diego is gearing up for its final stretch of construction and this part will come with some road closures. Here’s what you need to know.

Starting Friday, the final construction phase begins for the Mid-Coast Trolley Project, a plan to extend UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley service from Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego north to the UC San Diego community. Along the way, the extended line will serve major activity hubs including Mission Bay Park, the VA Medical Center, and University Towne Center. Nine new Trolley stations are part of the project.

"When we have this line under operation, you’ll be able to go from the border all the way through downtown and all the way up to University City on a one-seat ride," said SANDAG Deputy Project Director Greg Gastelum.

April 2021 Road Closures

This final stretch of the 11-mile project brings a series of 21-hour, overnight, full closures for sections along the roadway starting with Genesee Avenue Friday at 8 p.m. The closures are expected to last for about 10 days. They will come with noise.

Here’s a list of the road closures motorists can expect over the course of this phase, and when. This schedule is likely to change so check here for the latest information.

Each closure begins at 8 p.m. on the first date and ends at 5 p.m. the next day:

  • April 16 through April 17: Southbound Genesee Avenue, from Campus Point to Eastgate Mall
  • April 18 through April 19: Southbound Genesee Avenue from Eastgate Mall to La Jolla Village Drive
  • April 19 through April 20: Genesee Avenue and La Jolla Village Drive intersection (this is a big one)
  • April 20 through April 21: Southbound Genesee Avenue from La Jolla Village Drive to Nobel Drive
  • April 21 through April 22: Northbound Genesee Avenue from Nobel Drive to La Jolla Village Drive
  • April 22 through April 23: Northbound Genesee Avenue from La Jolla Village Drive to Eastgate Mall
  • April 25 through April 26: Northbound Genesee Avenue from Eastgate Mall to Regents Road
Rendering Courtesy of SANDAG
A rendering of the Mid-Coast Trolley Project in San Diego, set to be completed by late 2021.

During the road closures, crews will demolish and repave the impacted roadway, working in sections between Regents Road and Nobel Drive in the UC San Diego area.

After the demo and paving work, crews will stripe the roadway and install traffic signals. This part will take about two more weeks and will take place during the project’s normal Genesee Avenue construction schedule, which is Sundays through Thursdays from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. each night.

"You know what, I get energized every time I just drive down Genesee Avenue seeing all the construction going on," Gastelum said.

"It is a completely different look to the corridor here," he added.

SANDAG said the closures could shift, too, because the project is so complex. Again, check here for the latest scheduled closures.

Mid-Coast Trolley: Almost There

It’s been a long road for the $2.1 billion Mid-Coast Trolley Project.

A priority of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), it is one of the largest infrastructure projects in San Diego’s history. The extension of the Trolley line aims to improve regional transit access to major educational, medical and employment areas.

Construction began in fall 2016. Service is expected to be up and running by the end of 2021.

Funding for the project was included in the voter-approved TransNet measure, a local, half-cent sales tax hike that supports transportation projects. It’s part of the TransNet Early Action Program, meaning it’s one of the highest-priority projects in the region.

To learn more about the project and each step along the way, visit this website.

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