Cardiff by the Sea residents must be getting a little fed up with all the construction and orange fencing around town; widening of I-5 to eight lanes at Manchester Avenue, I-5 interchange expansion at Santa Fe Drive, double tracking of the train tracks from Solana Beach to Leucadia, sand dune replenishment at Cardiff Beach, and the Coastal Rail Trail being built along San Elijo Avenue.
Beginning on December 10, the town saw more orange fencing erected at the Chesterfield Avenue crossover of the tracks, eliminating one west bound lane, from San Elijo Avenue over to Coast Highway 101.
On January 2, a three-week hard closure of Chesterfield Drive’s train track crossover will eliminate the town’s only exit to Highway 101.
The closure is necessary for the construction of the new rail crossing, and a Class One bike and pedestrian path (separated from the vehicular roadway). During the closure, pedestrians and bicyclists will still be able to cross the tracks to get to Highway 101 and the beach.
The northbound crossover detour will be two miles away at E Street in Encinitas, or four miles to get back to the other side of the tracks. Southbound, the detour will be back out Manchester Avenue on to I-5, exiting at Lomas Santa Fe in Solana Beach, then west to Coast Highway, a detour of about eight miles.
A check of town businesses found mostly a negative effect is expected in the five-block village.
Masa at the Patagonia Surf Shop, inside the historic 1910-built Cardiff Mercantile Building, on northwest corner of the construction site said, “It will slow things down a bit. I just didn’t know it was going to start so soon.”
"It stinks,” said Hannah, working behind the counter at Bump Coffee on Aberdeen Drive. “I’m just bummed I won’t be able to get to the surf.”
“It’s going to be a pain in my ass,” said Mallory the lead server at Bestawan Pizza. “There’s your story,” she added, referring to the inconvenience shared by Hannah in getting to the beach.
Laura, the manager at Trattoria Restaurant on San Elijo Avenue says it shouldn’t be problem for them. “Most of our customers come off the freeway,” she said. “And I can give good directions on the phone.”
SANDAG has tried to help the Cardiff businesses in its public online announcement of the closure, by providing a graphic and link to the Cardiff 101 Main Street website encouraging folks to support Cardiff’s local business, which will be open during the construction.