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Data still being gathered on two choices for SR76

As plans for widening SR76 east of Mission Road continue, some Fallbrook and Bonsall residents are eager to hear which of two options will be decided upon in regard to the alignment of the highway.

The widening of SR76 is part of a TransNet program of projects extended by voters in 2004, and the road’s improvement was a part of a measure approved in 1987.

As it was a rollover project from the first TransNet program, the remaining SR76 improvements have been identified by the SANDAG board as an “Early Action Project.”

The two alternatives for the route being contemplated by officials are: 1) to widen the highway along its existing path; or 2) relocate the highway to the south side of the San Luis Rey River bed.

According to TransNet SR76/I-5 Corridor Director Allan Kosup, an expansion of the current SR76 route would require some areas of the roadway to be raised approximately five feet in order to keep cars out of the riverbed’s floodplain.

The alternative route would require two sets of bridges to take the road south of the river, with one bridge crossing the riverbed on the west side of South Mission and another coming up over the river before the Interstate 15 intersection.

The bridges would be similar in appearance to SR76’s bridge east of East Vista Way.

Both alternatives would offer four lanes for traffic, with two lanes in each direction separated by a median barrier.

No decision has been made yet regarding which alternative will be selected.

Kosup said a decision can be expected in 18 to 24 months because TransNet is still collecting information on potential impacts to the area’s community, biological and visual backgrounds.

Because there is not sufficient information available yet to determine the impact of each route choice, Kosup feels it is “premature” for community members to make a choice yet.

TransNet welcomes community input and suggestions, but Kosup said the community impact is “only one stakeholder” that TransNet is taking into consideration pertaining to the expansion.

Community members’ suggestions and concerns are welcomed throughout the finalization process.

“It is important to know what the impact will be when a decision is made,” said Kosup. “We’re in the phase of collecting information so we know exactly what the impact would be.”

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