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Significant Rail Construction in North County and San Diego 

In order to accommodate scheduled work along the rail line that carries passengers and freight from Oceanside to San Diego, there will be two full rail closures over the next two weekends.

The first of the two will occur this weekend – from just after midnight on Saturday, October 13 through early morning on Monday, October 15.

SANDAG will test signal equipment and complete several improvements to rail projects that will double track rail service where there is currently one track.

The second rail closure is planned for the following weekend, just after midnight, Saturday October 20 through early morning on Monday, October 22.

SANDAG is double-tracking much of the rail corridor to improve capacity and to prepare for the installation of a separate set of tracks for the Mid-Coast Trolley, which will extend service from the Old Town Transit Center to University City in San Diego.

The rail closure will affect four rail services operating on the San Diego segment of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) coastal rail corridor:  North County Transit District (NCTD), Metrolink, Amtrak, and the freight carrier BNSF.

These types of closures, called absolute work windows, are routinely scheduled in advance to manage rail construction and ensure worker safety.

Regular passenger rail service is scheduled to resume in time for the morning commute on Monday after both closures. Riders are encouraged to allow for more travel time as trains could be delayed in arriving at the destination.

Over the two weekends the following work will be done:

In Carlsbad, as part of the Poinsettia Station Improvements Project, crews will prepare the area for the new western alignment of the existing track and relocate the existing signal houses. The work will entail the excavation and removal of material north of the existing platform along the west side of the tracks.

The $33.7 million project will lengthen and elevate passenger platforms, install a fence between the tracks within the station, relocate a section of the existing tracks, and replace the existing at-grade rail crossings with an undercrossing featuring stairways and ADA compliance ramps on both sides of the tracks. Additional station enhancements will include new shelters, signage, and updated lighting.

The Poinsettia Station Improvements Project is expected to be complete by 2020. View project map. 

In Cardiff-by-the-Sea, construction crews will replace existing rail ties as part of the San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project.

The $76.8 million project will add 1.5 miles of new double track from Cardiff-by-the-Sea to the southern border of the San Elijo Lagoon. In addition to replacing the wooden trestle bridge over the San Elijo Lagoon with a modern concrete bridge, a new pedestrian undercrossing will be constructed at the south end of the lagoon. Improvements to the rail signal and grade crossing at Chesterfield Drive will also occur.

The San Elijo Lagoon Double Track Project is expected to be complete in 2019. View project map.

In San Diego, crews will work on rail and bridge structures near and within the railroad right-of-way along Morena Boulevard and Santa Fe Street for the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project.

This project is being constructed concurrently with the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project. Mid-Coast crews will be conducting utility work near Tecolote Road.

The $192 million Elvira to Morena Double Track Project will add a 2.6-mile second main track from State Route 52 to just south of Balboa Avenue. This new track will connect to existing double track, resulting in 10.3 miles of continuous double track.

The Elvira to Morena Double Track Project is expected to be complete in 2020. View the project map.

In San Diego at the San Diego River Bridge near Friars Road, crews will continue on-going construction activities to complete the new rail bridge and prepare the site to build a new rail bridge for the Mid-Coast Trolley extension.

The $93.9 million project involves the addition of a second main track across the river. The new 0.9-mile track will connect to existing double track at each end, resulting in a continuous 7-mile double track segment for the southernmost portion of the LOSSAN corridor. The project includes a new double track bridge, construction of associated site improvements, and signal modifications.

The San Diego River Bridge Project is expected to be complete in 2019. View the project map.

In San Diego, the North County Transit District (NCTD) and the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) will work on the at-grade crossings at the Old Town Transit Center during this weekend’s AWW.

To accommodate construction activities, Taylor Street will be closed between Pacific Highway and Congress Street from 9 p.m. Friday, October 12 through 5 a.m. Monday, October 15. 

During construction, nearby residents and businesses can expect intermittent noise and lights.

For a schedule of alternate routes, visit  GoNCTD.comAmtrak.com, or MetrolinkTrains.com.

About SANDAG … The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency, providing the public forum for regional policy decisions about growth, transportation planning and construction, environmental management, housing, open space, energy, public safety, and binational topics. SANDAG is governed by a Board of Directors composed of mayors, council members, and supervisors from each of the region’s 18 cities and the county government.


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  • Published: 10 months ago on October 11, 2018
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  • Last Modified: October 12, 2018 @ 12:52 am
  • Filed Under: North County

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