Concepts to improve the Interstate 5 (I-5)/State Route 78 (SR 78) interchange in the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad in San Diego County are currently being evaluated by Caltrans. Currently, motorists experience traffic delays at the interchange where there is a lack of direct freeway-to-freeway connections. These connections are currently made via a traffic signal at the I-5 southbound ramps/Vista Way intersection.
- Improve traffic operations within the project area for local
motorists, increase interchange capacity and improve overall air quality by
reducing idling vehicles;
- Reduce travel times and congestion through the interchange for
local and regional commuters;
carpool/HOV and transit vehicle connectivity between two important regional
transportation corridors; and
- Protect and/or enhance the human and natural environment in the
project vicinity, such supporting the Buena Vista Lagoon Restoration, where
Potential interchange improvements being studied include:
- Adding direct freeway-to-freeway connectors from southbound I-5 to eastbound SR 78 and westbound SR 78 to southbound I-5;
- Building direct access ramps that connect to future carpool and transit vehicle lanes on I-5 and SR 78; and
- Reconfiguration of the existing interchange to accommodate the new connections outlined above.
Environmental Review Process
2014, Caltrans began studying various options to improve the interchange. More
than 20 options were analyzed as part of the preliminary feasibility study.
Caltrans hosted a public workshop on January 29, 2015, at the Carlsbad Senior
Center, to gain initial feedback from members of the public about the project.
In September 2019, the SANDAG Board of Directors programed partial
funding for the environmental review process for the I-5/SR 78 Interchange. This
funding is programmed for 2023, at which time a public scoping meeting and
formal public comment period will formally kick-off the environmental review
process. The Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Studies (EIR/EIS)
is expected to be complete by 2028. Funding has not been secured for design or
construction at this point in time.