Proposed I-5 Expansion Reveals Divided Community
Posted in Projects

I live in Orange County.  Every time I contemplate a trip to San Diego, I run the calculations: 

  • How bad is the I-5 freeway going to be;
  • How badly do I need to be in San Diego; and
  • Can I find a way to extend/change my schedule to avoid the worst of the traffic? 

Granted, I engage in the same internal debate when I need to head towards Los Angeles, but at least going that direction, I have a number of route choices.  Going to San Diego, it's basically the I-5 or stay home. 

Caltrans is in the midst of a major planning process for possible expansion of the I-5 between La Jolla and Oceanside.  The public comment period for the North Coast Corridor Project expires November 22.  Caltrans is considering five alternatives, ranging from doing nothing to adding six lanes with dedicated, barrier-separated "managed" lanes (either high occupancy vehicle lanes, toll lanes, or some combination of the two). 

According to a November 9 article in the San Diego Union Tribune, "Five options on I-5 expansion: Which do you prefer?", the expansion plans have created vocal support -- and vocal opposition.  This isn't surprising, as virtually every proposed public project that involves potential eminent domain generates controversy. 

A poll being conducted shows (at least as of the time of this post) 42% hoping to leave the freeway as it is and 55% hoping for one of the expansion models (I'm not sure what happened to the other 3%).

For more information about the project, Caltrans has released a 10,000-page North Coast Corridor Project Draft Environmental Impact Report / Environmental Impact Statement

Regardless of anyone's opinion, it is pretty clear that construction is not on the immediate horizon.  It will reportedly take Caltrans months just to sort through and address the comments.  Even assuming one of the expansion alternatives is selected, construction is likely several years away. 

  • Rick E. Rayl

    Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues.  His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes.  His public ...

Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain. We cover all aspects of eminent domain, including condemnation, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts and report on all major eminent domain conferences and seminars in the United States.

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