SAN MARCOS (CNS) - A new overpass and reconfigured intersection that opened in San Marcos Tuesday should improve the flow of traffic on state Route 78, Caltrans officials said.
The Nordahl Road bridge over SR 78 was replaced at a cost of $41 million as part of a project that will enable Caltrans to add two freeway lanes. Workers also added turn lanes to the exit ramp.
About $1.3 million was spent reconfiguring the intersection of Nordahl and Montiel roads.
For about a decade, traffic at the Nordahl Road exit would back up onto the freeway, causing a bottleneck that slowed traffic on SR 78. The San Diego Association of Governments, which coordinated the work, ranked the area as among of the most congested in the county.
"SANDAG and Caltrans, working in cooperation with the cities of Escondido and San Marcos, made it a top priority to unclog traffic at this critical juncture," said Jerome Stocks, who is mayor of Encinitas and chairman of SANDAG. "We know thousands of residents drive by this area as part of their daily commute, and it can make a huge difference in their quality of life if we can cut the amount of time they spend in traffic."
San Marcos and the western end of Escondido have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with the construction of a new hospital and opening of several big-box warehouse stores.