La Jolla Construction Update: Gilman Drive bridge and Mid-Coast Trolley


The La Jolla Community Planning Association was updated on imminent construction activity in the Golden Triangle area during its July 5 meeting at the Rec Center. Genevieve Fong, a consultant with SANDAG, presented the latest news and highlighted how the Shift San Diego platform could assist motorists with more details.

The recently completed I-5/Genesee interchange project had its ribbon-cutting June 29, she said, adding that the idea was “to improve connectivity between east and west, so there was a widening of the freeway access ramps, the addition of an auxiliary lane on northbound I-5, and there is now a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects the Sorrento Valley Coaster Station to UC San Diego.”

The Gilman Drive bridge project, under construction over the I-5 freeway north of La Jolla Village Drive, could be complete by the spring of 2019. It will connect the existing campus roads on both sides of the I-5 freeway for UCSD, chiefly Gilman Drive to the west and Medical Center Drive to the east, and concrete pours will take place over the next few months.

“This realignment will reconfigure and widen Gilman Drive from Villa La Jolla East and north toward Voight Drive, will provide a new four-way signalized intersection. There is going to be a concrete pour for the top surface of the bridge and should conclude at the end of July. The final pour will be scheduled next week and will require full closure of I-5 southbound, but it will be in the evening. Crews will then remove the wooden support that has been under the bridge in late August or September,” Fong said.

Expected to be complete in 2021, the most imminent next step in the Mid-Coast Trolley Project is going to be construction of a cut-and-cover tunnel at La Jolla Colony Drive at Gilman Drive, which will begin in August. A cut-and-cover tunnel is a shallow tunnel where, according to Wikipedia, a trench is excavated and roofed over with an overhead support system. Work has also begun on the station foundations, some will be done by the end of July.

Updates on all these projects will be posted on the City’s new Shift San Diego platform:

The website has project notices, alternative transportation options to single-occupancy vehicles, places to sign up for text alerts, and a real-time Twitter feed with construction announcements, upcoming projects and planned closures.

There is also an interactive map with planned and ongoing construction projects. It also features a “trip planner” through which a commuter could input their start and end points, and a route with minimal traffic impacts would be suggested.

“We want to centralize all these projects and their impacts in one place,” Fong said.

Commuters can also text the word ShiftSD to 797979 to receive construction alerts on a smartphone.