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Leucadia Streetscape preliminary construction activities continue this week

Map
(Courtesy)

Roadway and mobility improvements on North Coast Highway 101 begin with Phase I of comprehensive Streetscape project

Initial construction is underway to kick off the project to preserve and revitalize North Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia. The multiphase project known as Leucadia Streetscape begins with Phase 1 roadway improvements between Marcheta and Basil Streets, drainage work between El Portal and A Streets, and parking pod construction on the east side of the 101 between Marcheta and Avocado Streets. By enhancing the area’s existing charm, improving neighborhood flow, enhancing frontage of surrounding businesses and seamlessly integrating with the El Portal Undercossing project, Leucadia Streetscape will improve accessibility and mobility for all modes of transportation and reinvigorate the thoroughfare for the community, according to a City of Encinitas news release.

“We are so excited to reach this important milestone for the Leucadia Streetscape project and move it forward into construction. This is a big moment for our community, as it comes after nearly a decade of work by City staff and engagement with the community to create a plan that makes it easier and safer for community members to get to the beach and enjoy the shops and restaurants on North Coast Highway 101, whether in a car, on a bike or on foot.” said City of Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear.

Phase I project components include:

* Roundabout on North Coast Highway 101 at El Portal Street
* Reduction of traffic lanes on Coast Highway 101 from four total lanes to two lanes
* Connection to the El Portal Undercrossing for pedestrians and cyclists
* New buffered bike lanes and wider sidewalks
* Street lighting
* Spaces to sit and gather
* New and improved crosswalks
* New parking on the east side of North Coast Highway 101
* Nearly 100 new trees planted
* Enhanced native and drought tolerant landscaping
* New stormwater treatment through biofiltration and dispersion
* Enhanced NCTD bus stops on North Coast Highway 101

Construction of Phase I is currently scheduled to conclude in mid 2022 with additional phases to be scheduled as funding allows.

“We are thrilled to begin work on the first phase of our Leucadia Streetscape project because of the positive impact it will have on the community when completed,” said Principal Engineer Jill Bankston, City of Encinitas. “It was designed to add to Leucadia’s undeniable charm and character and provide our residents with the ability to easily travel throughout their neighborhood whether on a bike, on foot or in a car.”

Funding for the $7.7 million Phase I Leucadia Streetscape project has been provided by the City’s General Fund and SANDAG’s TransNet funds, which is the region’s half cent sales tax for local transportation projects. The project is being constructed in phases based on current available project funding.

A major component of the project includes bolstering the urban tree canopy that is a quintessential aspect of Leucadia. During design, the project team worked around the existing trees as much as possible, but some trees must be removed to accommodate future features of Streetscape like wider sidewalks, but the City has a plan - down to each individual tree - to ensure the canopy is protected and enhanced with the project. This includes planting almost 100 new trees as part of Phase 1 construction. This is just one example of Encinitas’ commitment to protect its historic canopy with its award-winning Urban Forest Management program.

Construction on Streetscape started right after work began on the El Portal Undercrossing Project, a new grade-separated railroad undercrossing for bicycles and pedestrians, between North Coast Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue at El Portal Street. An important complement to the Streetscape project, the undercrossing will provide residents with quick and easy access to the beach and the business corridor west of the tracks and the elementary school and residences east of the tracks. The City is partnering with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to deliver the El Portal Project. SANDAG will serve as the construction manager, overseeing all aspects of construction, project schedule, and public outreach. The City of Encinitas is managing construction of the Leucadia Streetscape project.

The City of Encinitas and SANDAG co-presented a project update at the Jan. 27 City Council meeting.

What to expect:
Construction hours will generally be Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Those who live in the area or visit the surrounding neighborhoods will notice construction-related noise, increased construction vehicle traffic, and temporary lane closures and detours during construction. All driveway access will be maintained.

The City of Encinitas values the health and safety of its community, so all precautions outlined in current public health orders related to the pandemic will be taken.

Initial work to be completed:
* Stormwater protection activities (i.e. silt fence installation and gravel bag placement)
* Construction material stockpiling on site
* Construction of parking pods north of Basil Street
* Vegetation and designated tree removal in advance of construction
* Reduction of traffic to one lane in each direction and shifting traffic to the westside of North Coast Highway 101 near A Street to begin stormwater improvements (early March)

Construction alerts:
The City encourages residents to visit the project website to stay informed throughout project construction:
● Website: Visit www.encinitasca.gov/streetscape for project information.
● Project hotline: Call 760-512-3800 with any questions.
● Email: Email streetscape@encinitasca.gov with questions or requests and a team member will respond promptly. — City of Encinitas news release


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