December 01, 2016

California launches $US 6bn North Coast Corridor project

Written by  Mischa Wanek-Libman
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Artist's impression of the new San Elijo Lagoon bridge. Artist's impression of the new San Elijo Lagoon bridge.

A ground breaking ceremony was held in California on November 29 for the $US 700m five-year first phase of the 40-year $US 6bn North Coast Corridor (NCC) infrastructure improvement project.

The NCC project includes highway, rail, environmental and coastal access projects to improve the quality of life for Southern California residents, create a stronger local and regional economy and enhance the coastal environment over the next 30 years.

The first phase, which is being funded by a combination of federal, state and regional revenue sources, focuses on highway, rail and bike, pedestrian and habitat improvements along the California coast between Oceanside and San Diego. The project calls for $US 480m in highway improvements, $US 40m in bike, pedestrian and community enhancements, and $US 80m to restore the San Elijo Lagoon.

However, improving the 96km southern section of the Los Angeles - San Diego main line is a central component of Build NCC and the rail improvements included in the NCC project are part of a 20-year plan to invest nearly $US 1bn in installing more double track on the single-track section between the Orange County border and San Diego.

The first phase of the NCC project includes $US 102m for two track doubling projects, two bridge replacements and a crossing improvement project. The San Elijo Lagoon double-track project will be built first and will add 2.4km of second track between Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the southern border of San Elijo Lagoon and replace the 60-year-old wooden trestle at San Elijo Lagoon with a double-track concrete bridge. Work on the 1.2km Batiquitos Lagoon double-track scheme will begin in 2017 and will include the replacement of a 1930s wooden trestle with a double-track concrete bridge.

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