El Camino Construction Comes to a Close

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Photographer: Patrick Hanlon Oncoming traffic makes the best of their space as the construction comes to a close

Patrick Hanlon, Staff Writer

Many years and multiple delays later, the construction on El Camino Real is nearly complete, allowing people to travel through Carlsbad stress and traffic free. The construction north of Tamarack is set to be completed at the end of this month. The roadwork on Tamarack’s southern end will follow in the beginning of 2017.

The roadwork and construction has proven to be “annoying” for many drivers, according to senior Angelina Rocca. She hopes that the completion of the project will allow her to enjoyably drive to and from school without the fear of people cutting her off.

“I can’t roll my windows down and enjoy my music…” Rocca said.

The original date of completion was the spring of 2016, but the project encountered issues. Delays were caused by the analytical process of studying the road to ensure safety along with the discovery of cultural resources.

Craddock Stropes, the Senior Management Analyst as well as  Public Works for the City of Carlsbad, says the project has to be “respectful” of the objects found due to California law.

“California has one of the strongest cultural resources laws in the country and that is because of our rich Native American heritage here.” Stropes explained. “Particularly in San Diego, we want to be sensitive to any cultural resources/cultural artifacts that may be present.”

As described by the City of Carlsbad’s website, the completion of the construction will “beautify” the roadway by implementing new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, traffic lights, and landscaping. Additionally, the overhead power lines have been placed underground for both aesthetic and safety reasons.

“Safety is our priority.” Stropes assured

The city is aware that the current size of El Camino will be inadequate due to size in the coming 20 to 50 years. This is detailed in the General Plan, which outlines what the City of Carlsbad will need for the future. A section of this plan explains to need for larger roads.

“At some point we are going to have more people living in the city, more people commuting in the city, and we are going to need to widen this road because it is one of the main roads that take you north and south through Carlsbad” Stropes said.

The completion of the construction is going to allow traffic to flow significantly smoother. With an extra lane for traffic plus bigger bike lanes, reaching a destination should be a breeze. The city is doing the final touch ups before drivers are able to experience the full effect.

“I am confident that by the end of the month it will be fully operational.” Stropes assured.