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El Portal Undercrossing and streetscape open for Encinitas pedestrians, bicyclists

The pedestrian crossing sits between North Coast Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue along a two-mile stretch that had no safe railway crossing until now.

ENCINITAS, Calif — A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Sunday to celebrate the completion of the El Portal Undercrossing in Encinitas. 

The pedestrian crossing sits between North Coast Highway 101 and Vulcan Avenue along a two-mile stretch that had no safe railway crossing until now. 

"It connects people on the west side to the school on the east side. It connects the vast majority of residents who live on the east side of the tracks to the beach, commercial corridor, restaurants, bus stop," said Catherine Blakespear, the Mayor of Encinitas. 

Before the undercrossing was completed, people who wanted to safely and legally cross the rail tracks had to use the street crossings at Encinitas Boulevard or Leucadia Boulevard.

"This section is 2.5 miles that doesn't have a safe crossing when we put this in the middle of it, it provides that connectivity that otherwise people are driving all the way around," Blakespear said.

People can use stairs or a ramp to get down to the undercrossing making it friendly to people of all mobility needs. The improvements will also help save people time when commuting. Families are sharing their excitement

Erin, a resident in Encinitas, said her brother went to the elementary school nearby. She remembers how dangerous the area could be for pedestrians.

"Him and his friends used to have to walk where the traffic was really bad and now, we have this great pedestrian undercrossing," she said. 

This project is part of the Leucadia Streetscape project. Crews began working on the undercrossing at the end of 2020.

WATCH RELATED: Encinitas residents upset with the City about unfinished streets in neighborhood (June 2022).

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