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Calendar >  I-15/SR 78 Direct Connectors Project Update

I-15/SR 78 Direct Connectors Project Update

By   /  July 23, 2021  /  No Comments

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Thank you for your continued interest in the I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors project. Caltrans, SANDAG, and the City of San Marcos are proud to be making progress on an important project within the cities of Escondido and San Marcos that will: Improve connectivity between I-15 and SR 78 for those who live and work in North Inland San Diego County; Improve traffic flow on I-15 to minimize delays for people traveling north-south on the highway; Improve the operations of the existing I-15 Express Lanes Enhance the quality of life for all who live in the corridor by providing additional transportation and transit options, reducing travel times, and the amount of time spent in a car. Over the next year, the project team plans to stay in touch with you – sharing project updates, more information about proposed project features, and explaining how this project aligns with local, regional, and state goals for improving transportation. Is there a project feature you would like to learn more about? Email us
 
What’s the Latest?

Currently, the project is in the federal- and state-required environmental review process. The project team is taking comments collected during the public comment period into consideration as they begin to evaluate project alternatives and conduct technical studies to be summarized and released for public review in the form of Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment (EIR/EA) in late 2022. Additionally, public feedback collected during a recent survey of the public’s familiarity and interest in tolling systems, like the I-15 Express Lanes system, is aiding in this review process. A final EIR/EA is expected to be released in late 2023.

Why This Project?

Continued residential and economic growth along the east-west SR 78 corridor in the cities of Escondido and San Marcos has placed strain on its connection to and from I-15, a major north-south managed Express Lanes system in San Diego County, and this project is anticipated to ease that strain.
 
The I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors project will improve connectivity and access to major commute corridors, homes, and jobs in North Inland San Diego County. The project is expected to reduce time spent driving by inland North County residents, commuters, and businesses by providing more travel choices.
 
Why This Project at This Time?

The I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors is a key component of the larger SANDAG Regional Plan vision for a Managed Lanes system that would connect all corners of San Diego County and extend interregional transit service. For example, the I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors project could immediately support the potential extension of Rapid transit service from the I-15 Express Lanes, through the interchange, and to major employment hubs and potential future mobility hubs along the SR 78 corridor.
 
How Does This Project Fit Into Other North County Transportation Improvements?

SANDAG and Caltrans are currently developing the North County Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan (CMCP), which aims to create a comprehensive set of safe, sustainable, and equitable transportation solutions that are tailored to the needs of North County users, promote community vitality, and improve quality of life for all. The I-15/SR 78 Managed Lanes Direct Connectors Project is being incorporated as a key strategy into the North County Comprehensive Multimodal Corridor Plan. Developing such plans will help the region be more competitive for local, state and, federal funds, including SB 1 funding. The $870 million Build NCC project includes $195 million in funding from Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017.
 
The North County CMCP team held its first virtual public meeting to discuss the North County corridor on Thursday, July 8. If you missed it, you can watch the recording on the SANDAG Youtube channel
 
If you are a resident or commuter in North County, please take a few minutes to tell us your transportation priorities for North County by visiting our Social Pinpoint website and clicking: “Priorities Survey.” The survey will remain open through the summer.
 
How Can I Be Involved?
 
Sign up for project updates to stay informed on upcoming project milestones and opportunities to provide feedback. Please let us know if there is another topic you’d like the project team to cover in an upcoming email.
About the project:

New direct connectors between the existing I-15 Express Lanes and three miles of newly proposed Managed Lanes on SR 78 are intended to improve connectivity and traffic flow on and between the two corridors, reduce congestion and travel times, increase access to homes and jobs, and improve overall quality of life in north inland San Diego County.

For more information about the project and the project timeline, please view the project fact sheet.
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