CARLSBAD — Plans for a significant road improvement and bluff top project have been updated and are available for public review.
The city of Carlsbad has released new options for its Terramar Area Coastal Improvement Project, which covers bluff top, road and safety improvements along Carlsbad Boulevard from just north of the Encina Power Station to just south of Manzano Drive.
The plan has been years in the making with two rounds of public outreach, surveys and meetings to receive feedback.
The city has also scheduled an open house for residents to present feedback at the Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.
“We’ve had a decent history on this project,” Carlsbad Assistant City Manager Gary Barberio said. “This round is intended to show what we heard and how we responded to it. Hopefully, this addressed the lion’s share of the concerns, while still trying to meet the project goals. This is an area the entire city cares about and loves.”
He said the staff has incorporated a significant amount of public feedback for the latest proposal. There are two options each for the Cannon Road and Carlsbad Boulevard intersection, improvements between Shore drives and the Cerezo Drive intersection.
The Cannon Road and Cerezo Drive options include either a roundabout or traffic light, along with sidewalks and other safety features for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Between North and South Shore drives, street parking, sidewalks and a crosswalk are proposed.
Near Manzano Drive, just north of the Palomar Airport Road merger, a sidewalk, crosswalk and parking are included. The parking, though, is on the west side of Carlsbad Boulevard, but southbound drivers must back into the reversed angled spaces.
Barberio said this parking option is better suited for safety.
“This formalizes it and puts a little more order to it,” he explained. “You achieve more parking with reverse angle. You back in and pull out. That backing in movement is actually a little safer and easier to maneuver.”
The bluff top, meanwhile, includes greater protection by reducing the number of paths and adding a low-profile cable fence along the western edge. Created paths will make it easier to get back and forth from the bluff top to the beach while helping to protect the bluff from damage and erosion, according to the city website.
New to the plan are two crosswalks and a parking area next to the power plant along Carlsbad Boulevard. Other features include a gathering space, bike racks, a drinking fountain, ADA compliant access and beach stairs.
The city reduced the amount of seating and gathering places from previous designs to include just a few small areas designed for short visits. This made the overall design more natural with unpaved paths, minimal lighting and coastal landscaping, according to the website. The city also eliminated shade structures and trees.
“Last time, we had three different options for the bluff,” Barberio said. “There was kind of a hybrid between two. It was ‘don’t over improve too much.’”
The project designs will be presented to the City Council in early 2018 for input and selection of the preferred project design. The final design and environmental analysis will then be presented to the Planning Commission for approval with a target date of spring 2018.
This project also requires Coastal Commission approval, which typically takes six to nine months to obtain. Once the city has approval and permits, the project will be put out to bid for final design and construction. The project already has funding allocated in the city budget.
Once construction starts, the improvements should take about 18 months to complete. If the plan is approved, the project should be finished in mid 2020.
For more about the Terramar Area Coastal Improvement Project, visit the city’s website at www.carlsbadca.gov.