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Changes proposed for I-5 and SR-78 interchange

Commuters who take the 78 to the 5 freeway are often met with a stoplight and long lines. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us leaders are trying to secure funding for improvements to this interchange.

On Monday, U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA 49) met with local leaders to discuss funding for improvements to the Interstate 5 and state Route 78 Interchange.

Commuters who take the SR-78 to I-5 freeway now are often met with a stoplight and long lines.

Local leaders want to replace that light with a flyover bridge to connect the two freeways.


Encinitas mayor and San Diego Association of Governments chairperson Catherine Blakespear said the improvement will increase efficiency and also help the environment. SANDAG is the region's main planning and transportation agency.

“It will also reduce congestion," she said. "By making it more convenient for people to carpool, we’re also helping to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions and to improve our air quality."

Funding would come from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law. But before funding for this project is approved, SANDAG will need to complete an application and conduct environmental impact reports.

Levin feels confident funding will be approved.

“There's one program in the bipartisan infrastructure law specifically for areas that have high congestion and I think we are going to qualify,” he said.


He said construction of the flyover bridge should take 18 to 24 months but permitting and approvals could push the project out four or five years.

Last week, Levin announced the infrastructure law would be funding two other local projects —$30.5 million for the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project and $1.8 million for the Oceanside Special Shoreline Study.

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