Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Sandia Creek Drive bridge construction starts over the Santa Margarita River

Sandra Jacobson, Ph.D.

California Trout Director

South Coast and Sierra Regions

The Sandia Creek Drive bridge replacement project two miles north of Fallbrook is starting construction the week of Jan. 30. What started as a fish passage project for endangered steelhead trout in the Santa Margarita River, led by CalTrout and funded by state and federal agencies, is now a full-on community project.

If you’re a resident, commuter or visitor to the Santa Margarita Trail Preserve, you’ve seen increased activity on the southwest side of the river crossing for many months in preparation for crews arriving. But now, the survey team is there with monitors and crews laying out the fence enclosure. This will be followed by grading, with fences in place to protect the sensitive resources.

The existing road will stay operational until the new bridge is completed in early May 2024. The equestrian trail crossing has moved further south to link to the new trail that averts the construction site, and winds around the parking area to connect to the east-side trail system. Watch for the new crossing light and equestrians crossing the road.

The project was developed in close review by the County San Diego, who will own and maintain the structure. The project has been approved by many regulatory agencies through an extensive permitting process, and approved by the Fallbrook Community Planning Group.

Please drive slowly! Give the crews and trail users a break and enjoy watching a 574 ft. steel bridge being constructed in real time by Granite Construction Company.

For more information on CalTrout projects here and throughout the state, visit

Submitted by California Trout.


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