County Completes Award-Winning Road Project

It’s a lot easier traveling between Vista and San Marcos now that the County Public Works Department has completed the South Santa Fe road improvement project.

Previously, South Santa Fe Avenue was a two-lane road that twisted its way through the unincorporated area between the two cities. The completed project made it a more streamlined four-lane roadway to match the San Marcos and Vista sections of the road and brought it into compliance with the County’s General Plan.

Besides transforming the roadway, which runs parallel to State Route 78, the South Santa Fe project made numerous other improvements including the addition of sidewalks and bicycle lanes on both sides of the road, improvements to water and sewer lines, drainage improvements for storm water runoff and utility lines were placed underground.

Fifth District Supervisor Bill Horn said the new roadway has numerous safety and environmental benefits in addition to the increased capacity.

“This project is a win for our commuters and pedestrians, but it is also a win for the environment. The shorter commutes will help reduce air pollution in addition to saving time, and the new sidewalks and bicycle lanes will make it safer to walk and bike.”  

For increased safety, the old railroad crossing was moved to a newly constructed four-way intersection at South Santa Fe Avenue and Woodland and York Drives.

The project, which took nearly three years to complete, cost $15.2 million and $3 million for the relocation of the railroad crossing in addition to the coordination of traffic and railroad signals . Construction costs were funded by TransNet sales tax revenues.

“Our objective in this, as with any infrastructure improvement project, was to cause the least amount of disruption to people’s everyday lives and their commutes, while completing the project in a safe and timely manner. That’s why the project was divided into seven phases of construction,” said Michael Long, the DPW project manager. “One element that made the project especially challenging was the fact we had to work around train schedules not only for constructing the new roadway and other improvements, but also in the relocation of the railroad crossing.”

The American Public Works Association (APWA) recently announced it named the SSF road improvement project as the Outstanding Project in the $6 to $25 million category. That award will be presented to the County on May 9.

To check out other improvement projects DPW has underway or planned for the near future visit the DPW website.