From the CW News 6:

SAN DIEGO — Caltrans officials sought public comment Wednesday on proposals designed to ease congestion along the interchange between the I-5 and State Route 56.

Currently, there is no direct freeway connector between the southbound 5 and eastbound 56, and between the westbound 56 and northbound 5.

“It’s like banging your head against the wall. It’s slow,” said commuter Greg Perez about making to the transition to the 5 north.

During peak travel times, Caltrans estimates it takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to transition from one freeway to another, depending on the direction. Without construction to supplement the interchange, those travel times are expected to double by 2030.

“I think it’s important to say there is no perfect alternative,” said Allan Kosup, I-5 Corridor Director for Caltrans.  Options include building direct connectors between the freeways, adding auxiliary lanes on I-5, doing a mix of both, or doing nothing.

The price tag to do something ranges from $95 million to $250 million.

“The travel time savings is anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes depending on what alternative you select, compared to no build,” Kosup told a crowd Wednesday at a public town hall on the project in Del Mar.

Opponents of the project cite concerns with changing the landscape, noise, and encroaching on people’s backyards.

“It’s going to destroy the whole view, the whole scenic area,” said Noelle Spaid, who lives near the interchange.

Up to 27 homeowners’ properties could be affected, but no homes would be displaced entirely, according to Caltrans documents. Many of the affected “backyards” are hillside slopes, not usable space, said Kosup.

As for noise, Kosup says all the projects would maintain or reduce existing levels.

Caltrans is hoping to select an option by the end of this year so crews can work concurrently with the I-5 corridor project. Construction will begin when funding is available, likely sometime after 2020, said Kosup.

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