Tracks May be Lowered in Carlsbad

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Carlsbad, Calif. may see lowering of tracks below grade crossing level.

CARLSBAD, Calif. – The Carlsbad City Council is going to contribute $5.2 million toward a project to trench and double-track the railroad through Carlsbad Village.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that although the total cost of preparatory work will be just over $26 million, officials associated with the project said if the additional funds are not raised, the $5.2 million will be returned. Nevertheless, these officials believe the additional funds can be obtained without major obstacles.

In addition to double tracking the line, the plan is to “trench” or lower the tracks below grade level to eliminate the rail-highway crossing. The North Country Transit District and the San Diego Association of Governments have been involved with Carlsbad on the project for several years. The project has the support from the community and the associated agencies, and contributes to the nationwide goal of eliminating rail-highway grade crossings. While it’s not likely that all rail-highway grade crossings will ever be eliminated, when one is removed, the danger and potential for accidents it poses is gone.

[This] is “a great step forward,” Councilmember Carolyn Luna said, while Councilmember Melanie Burkolder said “This is an investment. It is not just spending money, and it’s coming back to us if for some reason we are not successful.”

In 2014, Carlsbad pitched in $250,000 for a study of the situation, and added $2 million in 2018 for additional review. The total cost of the project is targeted at around $500 million, with state and federal grant money funding most of the cost.

The current plan calls for the tracks to be dropped 30 ft. below street level from the northern city limits to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon, with overpasses for pedestrians and vehicles.

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