DEIR supplement on I-5 project includes lagoon study data

  • Public forum scheduled for Sept. 19

By Karen Billing

Caltrans released the supplemental draft Environmental Impact Report on Aug. 31 for the I-5 widening project. The release of the supplemental draft, which includes information from recently completed lagoon hydrology studies, is accompanied by a 45-day public review period. A public forum will also be held in Encinitas on Wednesday, Sept. 19 (see more information below).

In 2011, Caltrans announced its preferred alternative for the I-5 widening, the “8 + 4 Buffer” alternative, which adds four managed lanes, separated from general purpose lanes by striping. This alternative adds 100 feet of highway, 50 feet on both sides, impacting 24 acres of coastal wetlands.

The recently released supplement has information on the measures adopted to address coastal wetlands, proposed community and regional enhancement features, and project phasing presented and adopted by the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan.

To review the document, visit The public forum on Sept. 19 will be held at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Comments can be submitted via mail to Shay Lynn Harrison, environmental analysis branch chief, Caltrans-District 11; Division of Environmental Analysis, MS 242; 4050 Taylor Street; San Diego, CA 92110 or by e-mail to The deadline for comments is Oct. 15.

The I-5 North Coast Corridor Project proposes to improve traffic flow on I-5 from La Jolla Village Drive in San Diego to Harbor Drive in Oceanside/Camp Pendleton by expanding the number of lanes and changing how the lanes are used. The project is sponsored by the California Department of Transportation, also called Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration and the San Diego Association of Governments, also known as SANDAG. The project is included in SANDAG’s Regional Transportation Plan and would be partially funded through TransNet, San Diego County’s half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects. The I-5 North Coast Corridor Project has an overall price tag of at least $3.3 billion.