On March 31, 2010, our lifestyle in Fallbrook will begin to change forever. At the end of this month, Caltrans will publish the draft environmental impact report for the final phase of the expansion of Highway 76 from South Mission Road to Interstate 15, revealing Caltrans’ decision whether to redirect the highway south into the San Luis Rey Valley, or to expand it on the existing roadway.
The decision on which route to take, however, is (and in my opinion has always been) a fait accompli. At his recent State of North County address, Supervisor Bill Horn reacted to a small group of proponents for the southerly route warning them that, “you’re not going to be happy.” So the cat’s finally out of the bag: Caltrans is expected to recommend that the “best” route for the expansion of SR76 will be the existing roadway, and it will present a rationale for rejecting the southern route alternative in the EIR.
Caltrans and Supervisor Horn have heard from the Fallbrook Community Planning Group (our representatives) and over 2,000 residents and commuters, all of whom favor the construction of a new, six-lane expressway south of the existing roadway (which would become a county frontage road for use by local residents). Instead, Caltrans will attempt to justify reducing the width of the new highway at South Mission Road from six lanes to four lanes for the remaining four or so miles until it intersects with Interstate 15.