Back to School Update from The City of San Marcos.
As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools along with Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session this month, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays during their daily commute.
While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that relief is on the way. In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are nearing completion.
More than $3 million of construction projects are being completed this fall to improve the Rancho Santa Fe Road and other streets throughout San Marcos. During construction, businesses in the area will remain open and those directly affected by the improvement projects will receive notice of scheduled work.
During the school year and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and set those alarm clocks a little earlier to provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.
As the summer winds down, San Marcos students are headed back to school. With elementary, middle and high schools along with Cal State San Marcos and Palomar College back in session later this month, I-15 and SR-78 travelers can expect increased traffic delays during their daily commute.
While the increase in traffic congestion is familiar to city residents, students and commuters alike, the City of San Marcos is pleased to report that continued relief is on the way. In the city’s ongoing efforts to get motorists moving and improve traffic flow, several roadway improvement projects are scheduled over the next five years. Planned projects include feasibility studies for the San Marcos High pedestrian bridge and an extension of the Inland Rail Trail. Interchange improvements slated at Woodland Parkway and SR 78 will help accommodate the City’s anticipated growth near Cal State San Marcos and the University District.
During the school year and periods of roadway construction, drive with caution and provide ample time to reach your destination safely and on time.
In response to changing demographics and evolving travel patterns, the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will begin afternoon ramp metering for the westbound entrance ramps on SR 78 from Nordahl Road to Sycamore Avenue between 3 and 7 pm. Motorists may experience slight delays during metering periods at effected westbound freeway on-ramps.
The westbound metering activation schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, June 12 • Sycamore Avenue to SR 78 (Vista)
• Rancho Santa Fe Road to SR 78 (San Marcos)
• Las Posas Road to SR 78 (San Marcos)
Wednesday, June 19
• San Marcos Boulevard southbound to SR 78 (San Marcos)
• San Marco Boulevard northbound to SR 78 (San Marcos)
• Twin Oaks Valley Road southbound to SR 78 (San Marcos)
• Twin Oaks Valley Road northbound to SR 78 (San Marcos) Wednesday, June 26
• East Barham Drive to SR 78 (San Marcos)
• Nordahl Road to SR 78 (San Marcos)
Ramp metering will decrease the length and severity of traffic congestion for westbound traffic and will improve the overall traffic flow along the SR 78 corridor, ultimately reducing door-to-door travel times.
To view the full implementation schedule and all affected westbound SR 78 ramp entrances, click here.
The new eastbound auxiliary lanes on State Route 78 (SR 78) will be open to motorists starting Wednesday. This is the last project to be completed during a two-year highway improvement program for this area of North County and will help alleviate traffic congestion along SR 78 near the cities of San Marcos and Escondido.
Located just west of the Interstate 15 (I-15)/SR 78 interchange, the new eastbound auxiliary lanes include an extra lane between Woodland Parkway and the Barham Drive on-ramp, and two additional lanes between the Barham Drive on-ramp and the Nordahl Road off-ramp. As part of this construction project, a portion of SR 78 over Mission Road was repaved and the Barham Drive on-ramp was replaced.
“We’re pleased that these new lanes are opening and look forward to the traffic relief they will provide,” said San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond. “I am proud that San Marcos took the lead by stepping forward to fund the design of this project in order to secure the state funding needed to make it happen. My sincere thanks to Caltrans and SANDAG for them working collaboratively with San Marcos to complete the project in record time.”
Other completed SR 78 improvements in the area include the westbound auxiliary lanes and the replacement of the Nordahl Road Bridge. The City of San Marcos also reconfigured the intersection at Nordahl and Montiel roads.
Working collaboratively, the cities of San Marcos and Escondido, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and Caltrans invested $41.1 million near the I-15/SR 78 interchange to address severe traffic congestion and to prepare the SR 78 for future Express Lanes.
The SR 78 improvements are funded by a mix of local, state, and federal dollars. TransNet, a regional half-cent sales tax for transportation administered by SANDAG, provided $15.5 million. Caltrans provided $14.1 million through the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The City of San Marcos contributed $6.75 million, and the City of Escondido provided $4.75 million.
Please be advised that from Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 pm through Monday, Feb. 25 at 5 am, the eastbound SR 78 on-ramp at Barham Drive will be closed as crews work to reconstruct this on-ramp as part of the Eastbound Auxiliary Lanes Project.
Motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible as traffic delays at this location are expected. Heavy machinery will cause nighttime noise in the area. Signs will be in place to direct motorists through detours.
The City of San Marcos has advised that for approximately eight weeks, beginning January 21, work on the SR 78 between Nordahl Road and Twin Oaks Valley Road will require intermittent nighttime freeway closures from 11:30 pm to 5 am.
These nighttime closures will allow crews to rehabilitate a portion of the SR 78 over Mission Road and finish constructing the eastbound auxiliary lanes. During these closures, motorists are urged to avoid the area if possible. Traffic delays are expected during construction. Signs will be in place to direct motorists through detours.
Residents and businesses in the area are also advised that heavy machinery will cause nighttime noise in the area during construction. The schedule for this freeway closure is subject to weather delays.
As part of the work associated with the auxiliary lanes on SR-78, the City has been notified by Caltrans that portions of that work will need to be under taken at night with a full freeway closure. Caltrans estimates the work will take six to eight weeks starting in January. The City of San Marcos will post traffic advisories starting in January to keep motorists informed. For more information, please visit www.keepsandiegomoving.com.