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Author Topic: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County  (Read 10912 times)

andy3175

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Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« on: July 07, 2011, 11:58:30 PM »

An update on planned expansion for HOV lanes along Interstate 5 between La Jolla and Oceanside ...

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jul/06/caltrans-picks-express-lanes-only-option-i-5/

Caltrans picks express-lanes-only option for I-5
By Robert J. Hawkins
Originally published 5:17 p.m., July 6, 2011, updated 6:08 p.m., July 6, 2011

Caltrans has made its choice for the expansion of 27 miles of Interstate 5 through North County, picking the least intrusive of the four possible options: the $3.5-billion addition of four carpool-express lanes (two in each direction), separated only by paint striping.

The call comes after a planning process that really began in 2004 and reached a crescendo last year with a series of workshops and hearings on the four alternatives -- the largest of which required the addition of six lanes, with concrete barriers separating express and common lanes.

Residents and advocates for public transportation and environment presented views that ranged from “go big” to don’t build at all. Caltrans officials sifted through as many as 5,000 comments submitted on the project, a spokesman said.

At one point, state Senator Christine Kehoe submitted a bill, SB-468 which required North County coastal mass transit projects be built out before highway construction could begin. The bill is still alive but has morphed into an endorsement of the option picked by Caltrans today.

A spokeswoman for Kehoe said the senator is "pleased" by the choice made by Caltrans.

While hardly the end of the review process, “this is a good day for the project,” said regional Caltrans director Laurie Berman on Wednesday.

If all goes according to schedule, the first phase of the four-phase, 40-year project, could begin in 2013, according to Allan Kosup, Caltrans’ I-5 corridor director.

The highway expansion is part of a larger $6 billion transportation project that includes double-tracking of the coastal railroad corridor; lagoon restoration and lengthening of bridges over lagoons; and the addition of 23 miles of bike and pedestrian routes.

Before beginning Phase 1, Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration and its partners must develop what is called a Public Works Plan -- a document that will detail the actual work, impacts and time table.

Residents looking for the "devil in the details" will be paying close attention to this document, which after public hearings and apdoption , goes to the state Coastal Commission for approval. It serves essentially as a work permit from the coast panel, good for the 40 years of the project.

Phase 1 of the expansion would add one internal express lane in each direction, between Manchester Avenue to the south and State Route 78 in Oceanside. No widening of the highway in the first 10 years is required.

Originally the plan called for four dedicated "flyover" ramps that would feed vehicles directly into the express lanes. These have been reduced to two and one of them, moved slightly north of Manchester Avenue, actually comes in under the freeway to feed traffic to the express lanes.

The other, at Voight Drive near UCSD is being redesigned for a much lower profile. Two dedicated ramps -- at Cannon in Carlsbad and another in Oceanside have been dropped, said Kossup.

No ocean views will be lost, the planners say. If sound barriers in the back of homes block views, they will be built with clear material, according ot plans.

Also as part of Phase 1, eight miles of double-tracking will be added to the rail corridor durng the next five years, said Kossup.

Phase 2, adds two express lanes from La Jolla to Palomar Road. These lanes will be added to the outside edges of of the freeway.

Phase 3 will complete the four express lanes all the way to the San Luis Rey River. It is during this phase that the expansion will push through the densest residential communities.

In total, as many as 60 properties, mostly residential, will have to be taken to enable the highway expansion. As engineers refine the plans, that number could drop, said Kossup.

Phase 4 will consist mostly of building a train tunnel underneath Del Mar, the only piece of the project not funded through 2035..

The entire 40-year project -- highway, rail, pedestrian-bike trails and lagoon restoration is estimated to cost $6 billion.

Kosup said the public hearings and Kehoe bill have clearly influenced their choice. One of the bigger Kehoe triumphs, if her bill is passed, requires Caltrans to build train and vehicle bridges concurrently over the lagoons, to minimize damages.

Also, revenue from FasTrak users in express lanes will be channeled into public transit projects. And the view-blocking "flyover" ramps to express lanes have been reduced to two with low profiles.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 12:55:59 AM by andy3175 »
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 12:06:49 AM »

what is the obsession with express lanes?  general-purpose lanes seem to be the way to go, especially through that inexplicable pinch point near Solana Beach and Del Mar where the lane count stays constant (5 each direction) but traffic always slows down for no seeming reason.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 11:19:48 AM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?

Does this widening also include the already mega-wide section north of the I-5 / I-805 split? There are already 20-something lanes there.

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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 02:16:08 PM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?
In Washington, I believe tolled lanes are called HOT lanes (e.g. SR-167) while the I-5 and I-90 express lanes are not tolled, have fewer exits/entrances, completely separated from the regular lanes and reversible.  In California, "Express Lanes" are essentially high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes (I-15, CA-91, I-680 and soon I-580).
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 08:18:12 PM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?

Pretty sure it's HOT lanes. In any case, when I'm at UCSD, I walk across the Voigt Dr bridge almost daily. This will certainly make that a lot more dangerous or time consuming...glad to be getting out of there for good in a year or so.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 03:34:28 AM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?

Express lanes are not synonymous with HOT or toll lanes.

Express lanes divide from local lanes on freeways. In this setup, local lanes have access to all the entrance and exit ramps in a given stretch of freeway, while express lanes are separated from these and have no access to interchange ramps within the same stretch.

The logic behind the express/local setup is that through traffic will use the express lanes, thereby avoiding some of the typical slowdown that are associated with weave maneuvers due to entering and exiting traffic. In theory, capacity is increased overall because the express lanes will allow more steady flow of through traffic, since they are not as affected by lane changes and traffic weaving.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 12:01:04 PM »

Express lanes divide from local lanes on freeways. In this setup, local lanes have access to all the entrance and exit ramps in a given stretch of freeway, while express lanes are separated from these and have no access to interchange ramps within the same stretch.
Not necessarily.  The I-5 and I-90 Express Lanes in the Seattle area do have limited number of entrances and exits.  Also, the Seattle-area Express Lanes are reversible.

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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 07:08:41 PM »

^ Well, in the typical use of the term, Express Lanes have no exits. I would obviously be wrong to assume this is completely true in all cases...
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 08:48:19 PM »

The express lanes on the Kennedy and Dan Ryan Expressways in Chicago have spots along them where express traffic can rejoin the local lanes and local lane traffic can enter the express lanes. The express lanes otherwise have no traditional exits.

The Kennedy's express lanes are reversible; those on the Dan Ryan are not.

On the west end of the Kennedy express lanes, they go directly onto the northbound Edens expressway after your last chance to exit back into the local lanes. On the east end, they go directly onto the "Ohio Feeder" ramp - the exit for eastbound Ohio Street.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 09:28:24 PM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?

Express lanes are not synonymous with HOT or toll lanes.

Not in general, but they seem to be synonymous within CA. Or at least Southern CA. (CA-91, I-15)
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 09:58:27 PM »



Not in general, but they seem to be synonymous within CA. Or at least Southern CA. (CA-91, I-15)

however, the 5/56/805 junction seems to have another definition, which invented the term "local bypass" (a contradiction in terms, really).  Coming southbound on 5, the "local bypass" allows you to get onto a surface street (Carmel Mountain Road) or the 56 freeway, while both "local bypass" and main lanes allow you to choose 5 and 805.

I do not recall offhand what the scenario is northbound - how you can get from either 5 or 805 to either 56 or Carmel Mountain Road.  But I seem to remember - correct me if I'm wrong! - that the "local bypass" lanes are the only ones which allow access to 56, and I believe Carmel Mountain Road as well.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2011, 06:16:23 PM »

What's an "express lane", another word for high occupancy toll lanes or simply toll lanes?
In Washington, I believe tolled lanes are called HOT lanes (e.g. SR-167) while the I-5 and I-90 express lanes are not tolled, have fewer exits/entrances, completely separated from the regular lanes and reversible.  In California, "Express Lanes" are essentially high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes (I-15, CA-91, I-680 and soon I-580).

You are correct.  In California, HOT lanes are known as "Express Lanes."  This is in keeping with the terminology used on signs as called for in the MUTCD.   California also defines HOT lanes as a type of "managed lane", which also includes HOV and express toll lanes.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 12:19:50 AM »


however, the 5/56/805 junction seems to have another definition, which invented the term "local bypass" (a contradiction in terms, really).  Coming southbound on 5, the "local bypass" allows you to get onto a surface street (Carmel Mountain Road) or the 56 freeway, while both "local bypass" and main lanes allow you to choose 5 and 805.

I do not recall offhand what the scenario is northbound - how you can get from either 5 or 805 to either 56 or Carmel Mountain Road.  But I seem to remember - correct me if I'm wrong! - that the "local bypass" lanes are the only ones which allow access to 56, and I believe Carmel Mountain Road as well.

Yeah, NB 5 or 805 requires taking the local bypass to get to 56 or Carmel Mountain. There's no direct access from 5 SB to 56; that's done via Carmel Valley Rd (before the local bypass splits off). Also, WB 56 feeds into the local bypass of 5 SB, with no access to the main lanes of 5 (in either direction), and no direct access to 5 NB.

There's also "truck bypass" in both directions at the 5/14 interchange and the south 5/405 interchange. The latter also give access to a couple local exits. There are also truck bypass lanes SB on 5 at 99, and WB on 580 at 205.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 12:41:39 PM »

You are correct.  In California, HOT lanes are known as "Express Lanes."  This is in keeping with the terminology used on signs as called for in the MUTCD.   California also defines HOT lanes as a type of "managed lane", which also includes HOV and express toll lanes.

What would the MUTCD call the express/local setup for something like ON 401 in Toronto?
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2011, 08:40:38 PM »

Interestingly, the 2009 MUTCD does not explicitly define what an "express" lane is. Most illustrative sign examples in the signing chapter use the text "express" or "express lanes" in conjunction with a price-manged lane scenario or a HOT lane scenario. I saw no examples of "free" express lane signage, or a "express/local" lane signing scenario--I'm actually surprised there is no example of this, as I thought it was at least a semi-common arrangement.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2011, 11:41:02 PM »

Interestingly, the 2009 MUTCD does not explicitly define what an "express" lane is. Most illustrative sign examples in the signing chapter use the text "express" or "express lanes" in conjunction with a price-manged lane scenario or a HOT lane scenario. I saw no examples of "free" express lane signage, or a "express/local" lane signing scenario--I'm actually surprised there is no example of this, as I thought it was at least a semi-common arrangement.
As one possible approach, express lanes could be considered preferential lanes where through traffic has the preference. Because there's no restriction on allowed traffic, you wouldn't use the HOV diamond logo, but the other concepts would apply.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2011, 04:11:45 PM »

Interesting history here. The earliest example I know of express/local lanes was pioneered by New Jersey circa 1965 on I-80/95 going west/south from the Geo. Washington Br. It also had the first Jersey Barrier divider I ever saw, as a kid. Then circa 1970 the N.J. Turnpike built their dual/dual lanes but they were divided into cars only and general traffic lanes. Then circa 1980 when I-78 was completed west from Newark, it also had express/local lanes like I-80/95.

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andy3175

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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2015, 12:35:14 AM »

Property acquisition is underway for a future park and ride and direct access ramp at Manchester Avenue in Encinitas along I-5 north county corridor...

http://www.encinitasadvocate.com/news/2015/sep/17/manchester-strawberry-fields-caltrans-escrow/

Quote
Caltrans officials announced Sept. 16 the agency is in escrow to purchase 20 of the 30-acre strawberry fields on Manchester Avenue, just east of Interstate 5.

Plans call for a 5-acre Park and Ride, with five acres to be set aside for agriculture and 10 acres for open space, Caltrans representatives told the Encinitas City Council during an update on freeway, rail and lagoon infrastructure slated for Encinitas and the region. ...

The projects are part of Caltrans’ $6.5 billion package of rail, freeway and lagoon improvements for the I-5 corridor. They’re scheduled to be completed during phase one of plans, 2016 to 2020.

Caltrans did not give a timeline for various projects during that span.

Because of funding constraints, a freeway underpass that would go next to the Park and Ride was pushed back to “phase 2” of Caltrans plans, so it’s still 10 or 15 years away, according to Kosup.

The underpass, called a direct-access ramp (DAR), is designed to alleviate congestion for cars trying to enter I-5 from Manchester Avenue. It would funnel car poolers, buses and solo drivers willing to pay a fee directly into planned I-5 express lanes, and those driving in the express lanes could exit via the DAR. ...

Funding for the $6.5 billion Caltrans package will be drawn from state and federal sources.

Additional Encinitas projects are included in the Caltrans plan, from soundwalls to redoing the 60-year-old wooden San Elijo Lagoon rail bridge.

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andy3175

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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2015, 12:42:14 AM »

For continuity, I should have also posted the 2014 approval of this project...

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/I-5-Corridor/I-5-EL-Introduction.aspx

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/I-5-Widening-Project-Gets-Green-Light-271169411.html

Quote
Updated at 1:41 PM PDT on Thursday, Aug 14, 2014: A major step in a 40-year plan to widen Interstate 5 in North County, among other developments, was approved on Wednesday. The California Coastal Commission unanimously signed off on the plan, which would widen I-5 to include four new express lanes and provide a series of rail, public transit, bicyclist and pedestrian improvements between La Jolla and Oceanside.

Four lanes designed for car pools, buses and toll-paying solo drivers would be built along the middle of the freeway. Two conventional lanes would also be added. The project was estimated to cost $6.5 billion to be funded through a combination of federal, state, and local funds. Environmental groups had expressed concerns about the impact on wildlife living in six coastal lagoons, 32 acres of wetlands and 74 acres of coastal sage. Developers have since said they’ve addressed these concerns. Now that planners have received approval from the CCC, a carpool lane from Manchester to Birmingham will begin construction next year. That will be the first phase of an 11-mile HOV extension from Manchester to State Route 78.

http://www.keepsandiegomoving.com/I-5-Corridor/I-5-sr78-intro.aspx

http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/27/interstate-five-highway-78-interchange-tough-spot/

Quote
The interchange between Interstate 5 and Highway 78 is one of the region’s major freeway interchanges, but it is still controlled by traffic lights.

Thousands of travelers are held up every day as they use the interchange to get from the main east-west corridor to the main north-south corridor through coastal North County.

It may well be years before Caltrans finds the money to build a new interchange, but a few million dollars for planning is already at work. Caltrans held a "pre-scoping“ meeting in Carlsbad in January that drew hundreds of people. ...

Not only does Highway 78 empty into a residential neighborhood, the interchange will be virtually on top of the delicate habitat of the Buena Vista Lagoon, where a restoration project is in the works. Plus, the Interstate 5 widening project means the construction will have to cross 12 lanes of freeway.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2015, 04:35:25 PM »

Could the Express Lanes be built above the main lanes, like the Interstate 110 elevated lanes in Los Angeles?
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2016, 12:05:00 AM »

Caltrans property acquisition at I-5 and Manchester Avenue in Encinitas:

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12155644/caltrans-buys-large-chunk-of-manchester-ave-strawberry-fields

Quote
The transit agency Caltrans recently acquired 25.6 acres of the scenic strawberry fields on Manchester Avenue, just east of Interstate 5, for $7.2 million. Caltrans plans to: dedicate 6 acres to a park and ride as well as a freeway access ramp; set aside 6 acres for a community garden and other agriculture initiatives; and preserve 13.6 acres as open space, said Arturo Jacobo, project manager with Caltrans, in an interview with the Encinitas Advocate this week. ...

The strawberry fields projects are included in Caltrans' $6.5 billion package of rail, freeway and lagoon improvements for the I-5 corridor. Funding is coming from a mix of federal and state sources.

Construction on the park and ride will begin late 2016 and likely take three to four years, Jacobo said. But the freeway access ramp would come in the second phase of the corridor program, 2020 to 2030.

The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy will manage the agricultural portion and the open space, and work is scheduled to start there once the park and ride is finished, according to Jacobo. ...

The first phase of the I-5 corridor plan, 2016 to 2020, notably includes adding one express lane in each direction between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach and Highway 78 in Oceanside. The Manchester Avenue freeway access ramp would funnel car poolers, buses and solo drivers willing to pay a fee onto the express lanes.

Other phase one projects in Encinitas: lengthening the San Elijo highway bridge to accommodate express lanes and improve tidal flow; soundwalls to mitigate noise; and a new MacKinnon Avenue overpass.

The Encinitas City Council in 2014 backed the access ramp as well as the park and ride, but only after Caltrans committed to preserving some of the strawberry fields for agriculture and open space.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2016, 10:53:28 PM »


Quote
The transit agency Caltrans recently acquired 25.6 acres of the scenic strawberry fields on Manchester Avenue, just east of Interstate 5, for $7.2 million. Caltrans plans to: dedicate 6 acres to a park and ride as well as a freeway access ramp; set aside 6 acres for a community garden and other agriculture initiatives; and preserve 13.6 acres as open space, said Arturo Jacobo, project manager with Caltrans, in an interview with the Encinitas Advocate this week. ...

$7.2 million seems incredibly low for 25.6 acres at that prime location. Only $280,000 per acre. How much is a typical 1/4-acre residential lot in north San Diego County? I'm thinking much more than $280,000. Of course land suitable for commercial development (such as this location) would be much more expensive than residential property.

I'm thinking the land must have been zoned for agriculture with a low likelihood it would ever be authorized for development. So the landowner agreed to this deal.
 

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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2016, 12:20:28 AM »

Could the Express Lanes be built above the main lanes, like the Interstate 110 elevated lanes in Los Angeles?

If it's above the numerous overpasses too, maybe. It would probably be really expensive though.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2016, 03:31:40 PM »

I was always told that there are plans for a SB(WB) Manchester to SB 5 flyover ramp.
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Re: Interstate 5 Express Lanes - San Diego County
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2016, 04:05:55 PM »

It may be more expensive, rschen7754, but it would take up less land.
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