Since 2000, the City of San Diego, SANDAG and Caltrans have been studying the I-5/SR 56 Interchange in an effort to improve local and regional traffic. This regional interchange connects two of San Diego’s most critical north-to-south and east-to-west freeways.
The I-5/SR 56 Interchange Project will improve the traffic operations on I-5 between Del Mar Heights Road and Carmel Valley Road, and on SR 56 between I-5 and Carmel Country Road.
After more than a decade of public input and study, Caltrans completed the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) for the I-5/SR 56 Interchange Project and selected the Direct Connector/Phased Connectors Alternative as the Preferred Alternative for the project.
The Phased Connectors Alternative provides near-term traffic improvements on SR 56, while providing flexible construction phasing to minimize temporary impacts to traffic flow, local businesses, and the community. Of the five alternatives studied, including a no-build option, the Phased Connectors Alternative provides the greatest improvement to local and regional traffic flow and connectivity, while reducing neighborhood cut-thru traffic.
The construction of the Phased Connectors Alternative has three main phases, which will be constructed in multiple stages to reduce impacts to traffic, local business, the community, and to align phasing with anticipated funding.
In June 2017, Caltrans completed and released the Final EIR for the I-5/SR 56 Interchange Project and selected the Phased Connectors Alternative as the Preferred Alternative. This project is not yet funded through final design and construction.
Once funding is identified, the project could be built in phases beginning with the addition of one general purpose lane on SR 56 in each direction between El Camino Real and Carmel Country Road. Project phasing would also include the southbound I-5 to eastbound SR 56 and westbound SR 56 to northbound I-5 connector ramps. Caltrans will examine traffic conditions to ensure the connectors are needed prior to construction.
To receive a copy of the I-5/SR 56 Interchange Project Final EIR, please call the Caltrans Public Information Office at (619) 688-6670.