The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 13 December 2013 13:01cat

Lawsuit Threatens to Delay I-5 Expansion Project

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I-5 Expansion is scheduled to start in 2015 I-5 Expansion is scheduled to start in 2015 Raymond Yu

The Cleveland National Forest Foundation, a small group of environmental advocates, filed a lawsuit against Caltrans on Wednesday over the plans to expand I-5 in the San Diego area.  The lawsuit claims the freeway expansion would lead to “an enormous surge in greenhouse gas emissions.”  Caltrans Final Environmental Impact Report, which was signed on October 23, 2013, states that the express lanes expansion project is the best way to serve the 300,000 daily trips along the freeway by 2030 as it has the least impact on natural resources, requires fewest property relocations, and has the lowest construction costs. 

The I-5 expansion is a $6.5 billion project that aims to improve the freeway to accommodate the increase from 200,000 cars daily to 300,000 cars. Many residents of San Diego do not support the project as they believe alternative transportation methods should be funded instead of adding more lanes to the highway.  The planning process for the project began almost 20 years ago and the current Environmental Impact Report contains over 5000 responses from community members received since meeting s began being held 2004.  Caltran maintains that the project will alleviate congestion through 2050 and is the best possible solution to the highway congestion.

Caltrans will not be able to start construction until it receives approval from the California Coastal Commision.  The project was expected to start in 2015, but the hearings starting in summer 2014 could delay the stat date.  The Cleveland National Forest Foundation has sued San Diego before and won.  The president of the foundation expects the lawsuit to be a “long, drawn out process.”

Sources: UT San DiegoKeep San Diego Moving

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