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Leucadia crossing improvements ahead of schedule

ENCINITAS — Construction to make improvements on the Leucadia pedestrian crosswalk on Leucadia Boulevard in between Vulcan Avenue and North Coast Highway 101, which began Aug. 1, is ahead of schedule.
The project received approval from the city in October 2008, and is being funded through a Federal grant, with PAL General Engineering, Inc. implementing the improvements.
The project was designed and coordinated by city of Encinitas Associate Civil Engineer Stephanie Kellar.
“The project was coordinated with CalTrans, with the NCTD and with the California Public Utilities Commission, and it’s an intersection improvement project with a focus on pedestrian safety,” Kellar said.
“We spent about a year-and-a-half coordinating with all of those agencies and coming up with a safe plan.”
The work also allows for the increase of the advanced preemptive timing, which sets the traffic light signals to clear the intersection of both pedestrians and vehicles before the train arrives, explained Ed Deane, senior civil engineer.
Deane said that the improvements made to the area also include a American Disabilities Act compliant concrete path, curb ramps, reconstruction of the east side of North Coast Highway 101, replacement of the traffic signals and landscaping.
“We’re really making that intersection compliant for the American Disabilities Act,” Deane said.
Rob Blough, traffic engineer for the city, said that over a three-year period between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2010 there were 10 auto collisions at the intersection of North Coast Highway 101 and Leucadia Boulevard and two collisions at the intersection of Vulcan Avenue and Leucadia Boulevard, none of which involved a pedestrian.  
One of the collisions at the intersection of North Coast Highway 101/Leucadia Boulevard did involve a bicyclist.
The primary reasons for the collisions were drunken driving and running red lights, he added.
A section of sidewalk in front of the Leucadia Road Side Park is also being reconstructed.
Construction has been slated to end Oct. 31.