CHP, Caltrans, and SANDAG ask the public to slow down
Last updated 12/9/2020 at 6:54pm
SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the California Highway Patrol, in partnership with the California Department of Transportation and San Diego Association of Governments, announced the increased presence of CHP officers along the Interstate 5 construction zone in the cities of Encinitas and Carlsbad over the month of December.
The increase in CHP officers throughout the holiday month is intended to encourage corridor travelers to slow down, be alert, and respect the 55 MPH reduced speed limit in construction zones. Over the course of an additional four-hour CHP shift on Tuesday, Dec. 1, over 50 vehicles were pulled over and issued citations or warned about the reduced speed limit.
The reduced speed limit plays a particularly key safety role during overnight construction operations. Highway construction workers regularly implement temporary overnight lane closures when there is less traffic on the freeway, to construct critical improvements that cannot be completed during the daytime. Since Jan. 1, nearly 1,000 speeding tickets have been issued to motorists traveling over 85 MPH in the I-5 construction zone during the nighttime hours.
“We implore drivers to slow down, move over a lane when they see workers on the highway. Despite reduced traffic volumes during the pandemic, we continue to see increased speeding. After such a challenging year, we simply want to ensure everyone and our essential workers can get home safety to their family and friends this holiday season,” said Gustavo Dallarda, Caltrans District 11 Director.
The 55 MPH reduced speed limit is currently in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week along the 8-mile Caltrans and SANDAG Build North Coast Corridor (NCC) project limits between Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach and Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad. CHP will be increasing the presence of officers throughout the construction zone during the month of December to increase public and worker safety and general awareness.
“Since Jan. 1, CHP has issued over 2,300 speeding tickets specifically in the I-5 construction zone in Encinitas and Carlsbad. This trend is troubling and indicative of a much higher number of daily highway commuters that are not following the reduced speed limit,” said Mark Latulippe, California Highway Patrol “We hope that seeing increased CHP presence will remind people to slow down and take the safety of their fellow commuters and highway workers seriously.”
To ensure safety for both motorists and the construction crews through the I-5 construction zone, drivers are reminded to “Drive 55 on the 5” in the Build NCC construction zone and that traffic fines are doubled in construction zones. Additionally, the “Move Over” law requires all drivers to Be Work Zone Alert, Move Over a lane when safe to do so, and slow down when highway workers are present with flashing amber lights slow down when they see amber flashing lights on Caltrans vehicles, law enforcement and emergency vehicles, and tow trucks.
The Build NCC project began in 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in 2022. The reduced 55 MPH speed limit will remain in effect through Build NCC project completion in 2022. The $869 million project is funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources. The highway portion of Build NCC is estimated to cost $663 million.
The public can learn more and sign up for project email updates by visiting KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/BuildNCC, or texting “BuildNCC” to 313131 to sign up to receive construction text alerts.
Construction During COVID-19 Pandemic: Public works construction is deemed essential and work continues during the pandemic. The partners, contractors and workers are following U.S. Center for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health guidelines.
For more information about COVID-19 visit http://covid19.ca.gov/.
Submitted by the California Highway Patrol