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Construction begins on I-5 carpool lanes from Carlsbad to SR-78

An undated artist rendering of the carpool lanes on Internet 5 from Lomas Sante Fe Drive to state Route 78.
Caltrans
An undated artist rendering of the carpool lanes on Internet 5 from Lomas Sante Fe Drive to state Route 78.

Interstate 5 will have 13 miles of carpool lanes completed by the end of 2022.

On Tuesday, CALTRANS announced the start of construction on the last phase of the carpool extension project.

Construction will begin on Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad and will reach the SR 78 freeway.

“The piece that we’re beginning today should be open to traffic by the end of next year, 2022,” said Allan Kosup with CALTRANS.

Nine miles of carpool lanes, stretching from Solana Beach to Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, are already done.

Kosup said the carpool lanes that are completed are expected to open by the end of this year.

While construction is underway for the last phase of the carpool lanes, Kosup said drivers should look out for traffic changes.

"Starting next week, we will be reducing the speed limit through the construction zone to 55 miles an hour, just like we've done to the south,” he said. “Drivers can expect some new orange striping that we are piloting just to give people a heads up that you are in a construction zone.”

Carlsbad mayor Matt Hall said the widening of the I-5 is critical for commuters and the transportation of goods.

“(Interstate) 5 is an extremely important link into not only North County, but all the way to San Diego, and even to the Mexico border. It's an integral link for not only the citizens but also for freight,” said Hall.

Construction begins on I-5 carpool lanes from Carlsbad to SR-78

The carpool lanes are part of the North Coast corridor project that include improvements to the San Elijo lagoon, the Coaster tracks, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways.

The entire project is expected to be completed by 2023.