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Melrose Drive extension gets go ahead from council

OCEANSIDE — The much-contested Melrose Drive Extension that links North Santa Fe Drive to Spur Avenue is moving forward. City Council OK’d spending $1.44 million on an engineering study to be conducted by Nolte Associate Inc. of San Diego in a 3-2 vote Wednesday. 

Mayor Jim Wood and Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no.

The study will bring the city one step closer to building the extension that creates a north-south thoroughfare between state Route 76 and state Route 78.

Several residents voiced opposition to the arterial road and said it will only serve people traveling through Oceanside not people who live in Oceanside.

Sanchez questioned whether or not the road is needed.

“It is not going to save time on other roads,” Sanchez said. “It increases cross traffic.”

Councilman Jack Feller spoke in favor of the thoroughfare and said it will ease traffic on parallel roadways.

“It will save an awful lot of time on College and Rancho del Oro,” Feller said.

Felien also supported the road and said it will help distribute citywide traffic more evenly.

Wood and Sanchez said it is unlikely the roadway will ever be built, since it requires the eminent domain of over a dozen Oceanside homes and a chunk of Guajome Park. Land acquisition calls for a 4-5 vote of approval from City Council and Wood and Sanchez stated they would not support it.

It is unknown if time will work in favor of the extension being built and if a City Council super majority that supports the land acquisition will be voted in come November.

The road extension has been stop-and-go since 1990. Funding and environmental issues have twice stopped the road project from moving forward. The OK’d roadway plan has the least environmental impact and limits the extension to four lanes.

The engineering study is expected to be completed in January. At that time information will be presented on exactly what land acquisition is needed.