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Residents Pack Hearing On San Diego I-5 Expansion

Like all Southern California freeways, I-5 can be a parking lot at times. State highway officials plan to change that by adding more lanes between San Diego and Oceanside. Caltrans laid out the plan at a hearing in Solana Beach Monday.

From La Jolla to Camp Pendleton, traffic along I-5 can try any driver’s patience, during rush hour or otherwise. And it’s expected to only get worse over the next 20 years.

To help ease drivers’ pain and frustration, Caltrans has proposed expanding the number of lanes and how the lanes are used.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has made the I-5 expansion a high-priority project.

State Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) and the Senate Transportation Committee will host the public hearing on the I-5 North Coast Corridor Project.

"We want the San Diegans that come to the hearing or pay attention to it to see that there are degrees to the expansion that there's four different ways to expand it or to not expand it at all," said Kehoe.

The comment period for the project's draft environmental review ends November 22.

Caltrans officials said the project will cost between $3.4 billion to $4.5 billion depending if one of the four alternatives are chosen.

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.

Caltrans will make another presentation on the project at the Carlsbad City Council meeting Tuesday.

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