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Milestones in SANDAG Regional Decision-Making


  • Broke ground on the Mid-Coast Trolley Project, which will extend Blue Line service north from Santa Fe Depot to the University City community, and add nine new stations. This expansion will serve key destinations like Mission Bay Park, Pacific Beach, the VA Medical Center, business clusters along Genesee Avenue, UC San Diego, and the Westfield UTC mall.

  • Completed construction of six uniquely branded Rapid transit stations in the heart of Downtown San Diego, bringing the total number to 11.

  • Continued construction on the SR 15 Mid-City Centerline Rapid Transit Stations Project, which will create the first freeway-level transit stations in the region.

  • Continued construction on the Elvira to Morena Double Track Project, which will add 2.6-miles of double track from SR 52 to just south of Balboa Avenue.

  • Continued construction on the San Diego River Bridge Double Track Project, which will add nearly a mile of new track from Tecolote Road to just north of the Old Town Transit Center.

  • Made significant progress to replace four aging wooden trestle rail bridges across the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon with modern, concrete structures. This project is expected to wrap up in 2017.

  • Began construction on South Bay Rapid, a 26-mile transit route that will carry passengers between Otay Mesa, eastern Chula Vista, and Downtown San Diego.

  • Began construction to upgrade the Oceanside Transit Center, one of the busiest in the region, which serves 1.2 million passengers per year.

  • Completed a substantial renovation of the East County Bus Operations and Maintenance Facility in El Cajon.

  • Completed two significant goods movement enhancement efforts: the San Ysidro Freight Rail Yard and the South Line Freight Rail Capacity projects.

  • Completed the I-805 North Project, which created two carpool lanes between SR 52 and Mira Mesa Boulevard. The project also included a direct access ramp (DAR) at Carroll Canyon Road, which enables carpools, buses, and other eligible vehicles to go straight into the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes.

  • Opened Segment 1 of the SR 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project, a brand new freeway in Otay Mesa, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Opened three northbound freeway connectors in Otay Mesa to link SR 905 and SR 11 to the SR 125 toll road, also known as South Bay Expressway.

  • Completed improvements to the East Palomar Street Bridge, which included a new DAR, transit station, and Park & Ride lot at East Palomar Street.

  • Continued construction on the eastern segment of SR 76, which is expected to be complete in 2017. The bridge over Live Oak Creek also opened to traffic, along with a new westbound lane on SR 76.

  • Continued construction on the I-5/Genesee Interchange Project, which is now about two-thirds complete and slated to open in late 2017.

  • Broke ground on the first phase of the North Coast Corridor Program, a package of freeway, rail, and environmental enhancement projects along I-5. The first phase, known as Build NCC, will extend carpool lanes and add sound walls along I-5, add two miles of additional double track along the coastal rail line, and make bike and pedestrian improvements. The San Elijo Lagoon also will be fully restored.

  • Began preparation for construction of a new Gilman Drive Bridge, which will connect Gilman Drive to Medical Center Drive and link the east and west campuses of UC San Diego.

  • Wrapped up construction on Phase 1 of the Inland Rail Trail, a 1-mile segment along the SPRINTER tracks in the City of San Marcos, and began construction on Phase 2, through an unincorporated part of the County of San Diego. When all phases are complete, the Inland Rail Trail will stretch 21 miles, and link the cities of Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido, as well as unincorporated communities in the County of San Diego.

  • Broke ground on a new 2.25-mile segment of the Bayshore Bikeway that will ultimately extend from the San Diego-National City border south to the National City Marina.

  • Began construction on the SR 15 Commuter Bikeway, which will connect the Mid-City area of the City of San Diego with Mission Valley when construction wraps up in 2017.

  • As of December 2016, the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Grant Program has helped SANDAG acquire more than 8,600 acres of sensitive habitat in partnership with other organizations and conservation groups. That’s more than seven times the size of Balboa Park!

  • As part of the SANDAG iCommute Program, more than 700 vanpools carried about 5,000 commuters to work each week, which reduced vehicle miles traveled by 137 million miles in 2016.

  • Bike to Work Day 2016 was another success story, with 100 pit stops countywide that drew nearly 10,000 visits.


  • Adopted San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, a balanced blueprint for how our region will travel, live, and grow through 2050.

  • Completed renovation of Trolley Blue Line stations from Barrio Logan to San Ysidro and added 65 new low-floor vehicles to the Orange and Blue Trolley Lines as part of the Trolley Renewal Project.

  • Completed the Sorrento Valley Double Track and San Onofre to Pulgas Double Track projects, which converted 5.2 miles of single track to double track resulting in 67% of the corridor now double tracked, and expanded COASTER station parking.

  • Completed construction on five of the 11 new Downtown Rapid Stations at Kettner Boulevard, India Street, and 11th Avenue off of Broadway.

  • Began construction to replace four aging wooden rail trestle bridges across Los Peñasquitos Lagoon as part of the I-5 North Coast Corridor Program.

  • Began construction on the SR 15 Mid-City Centerline Rapid Transit Stations project in the Mid-City area of San Diego.

  • The Mid-Coast Trolley, which will extend Blue Line service from Old Town to University City, entered into final design. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016.

  • Completed construction of the Sweetwater Bikeway Plaza Bonita Segment, a half-mile Class I bikeway which closes a gap in the existing bikeway and connects to the Bayshore Bikeway.

  • Completed construction on a .6-mile extension of the Bayshore Bikeway along Harbor Drive between 32nd Street and Vesta Street.

  • Began construction on the first phase of the Inland Rail Trail San Marcos to Vista segment, a seven-mile Class I bikeway that will pass through San Marcos, Vista, and unincorporated communities in San Diego County.

  • Completed construction on the I-5/I-8 Connector Project to reduce traffic congestion along I-8.

  • Continued construction of the SR 76 East Segment Project between South Mission Road and the I-15/SR 76 interchange.

  • Continued construction on the East Palomar Street Bridge and Direct Access Ramp in Chula Vista.

  • Continued construction on adding a northbound auxiliary lane and southbound through lane at East Plaza Boulevard in National City.

  • Continued construction of SR 11 between SR 905 and Enrico Fermi Drive in Otay Mesa.

  • Began construction on the I-5/Genesee Avenue Interchange Project to replace the existing six-lane Genesee Avenue overcrossing with a ten-lane structure that will include additional vehicle lanes, new bicycle lanes, and sidewalks.

  • Began construction on the SR 905/125/11 Northbound Connectors Project.

  • Continued construction on San Ysidro Freight Rail Yard improvements to replace aging rail infrastructure, alleviate drainage issues, and expand the facility to increase freight capacity and efficiency.

  • Continued construction on the South Line Rail Freight Capacity Project, which will enable expanded freight operations to meet existing and future growth of freight rail.

  • Received federal and California Coastal Commission authorization to begin construction of carpool lanes on I-5 from Lomas Santa Fe to Birmingham and replace the San Elijo Lagoon Bridge as part of the I-5 North Coast Corridor Program.

  • Preserved 50.5 acres near the Batiquitos Lagoon through the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program and the I-5 North Coast Corridor Program.

  • Preserved Lakeside Downs, 410 acres in East County previously proposed for development and purchased with funds provided by the SANDAG TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program.

  • Helped reestablish Agua Hedionda Lagoon marshland as environmental mitigation for I-5 North Coast Corridor Program. The property was purchased through the SANDAG TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program.


Received California Coastal Commission approval on the North Coast Corridor Public Works Plan/Transportation and Resource Enhancement Program. Obtained federal and state environmental clearance for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project to extend the Blue Line Trolley from Downtown San Diego to University City. Launched Rapid services along the I-15 corridor and in the Mid-City area, including Rapid 215, Rapid 235, and Rapid 237, and began construction on Downtown San Diego Rapid stations. After obtaining AAA ratings from two credit agencies, sold $350 million in bonds at 3.85 percent interest rate to fund TransNet Early Action Projects. Opened eight miles of carpool lanes along I-805 South between East Naples Street in Chula Vista and SR 94 in San Diego, and added 10 sound walls along the route of the new carpool lanes. Completed the I-15 Mira Mesa Direct Access Ramp and Miramar College Transit Station. Completed major improvements, including a new parking garage and bike parking facility, at the Sabre Springs/Peñasquitos Transit Station. Completed the I-805 HOV/Carroll Canyon Road Extension Project, which included two miles of carpool lanes in each direction along I-805 from I-5 to Carroll Canyon Road and a northerly Direct Access Ramp from the Carroll Canyon Road Extension to the HOV lanes. Completed realignment and double tracking along the Sorrento-Miramar Curve section of the LOSSAN coastal rail corridor. Began construction on the SR 76 East Segment between South Mission Road and SR 76/I-15 interchange, the last of a series of improvements to the east-west highway. Completed a 2,000-foot segment of Coastal Rail Trail in Oceanside from Ocean Boulevard to Wisconsin Avenue. Completed the Barrio Logan gateway sign and street improvements to make the area on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway between Main Street and Newton Avenue more pedestrian-friendly and attractive. Continued to make progress to modernize and rebuild the Blue Line Trolley stations, tracks, Traction Power Substations, and overhead wires. Launched low-floor Trolley service in January 2015. Began construction on the I-5/I-8 Connector Project to reduce traffic congestion along I-8. Began construction to expand the San Ysidro Freight Rail Yard – an important project to expedite loading between freight cars and trucks. Began construction on the Plaza Bonita Segment of the Sweetwater Bikeway. Began construction on the first phase of Segment 4 of the Bayshore Bikeway along Harbor Drive from Vesta Street to 32nd Street.


Celebrated 25 years of keeping San Diego moving with TransNet, the region’s half-cent sales tax. Completed Encinitas Pedestrian Crossing Project to ensure safe passage to Swami’s State Beach. Released Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project draft supplemental environmental document for review and comment. Added VA Medical Center as station stop. Completed the Eastbound SR 78 Auxiliary Lanes Project to help ease traffic in North County. Adopted vision and goals for San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan. Began construction on Oceanside Coastal Rail Trail Class I bikeway project. Demolished Palomar Street Bridge to accommodate direct access ramp construction as part of the I-805 South Project. Accepted the Series 13 Regional Growth Forecast. Approved final environmental document for South Bay Rapid. Completed SR 76 / I-15 East Widening Interchange Improvement Project ahead of schedule. Began construction on Mid-City Rapid in San Diego. Kicked off last phase of Trolley Renewal Project construction – the Blue Line from Barrio Logan to San Ysidro. Approved $200 million Regional Bike Plan Early Action Program to fund high-priority bikeway projects regionwide within ten years. Awarded construction contract for the Sorrento Valley Double Tracking Project to provide for an additional one mile of double tracking north of the Sorrento Valley COASTER Station. Broke ground on Segment 1 of the SR 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry construction project.


Opened the last four miles of the I-15 Express Lanes. Reduced tolls by up to 40 percent on the South Bay Expressway/SR 125 toll road. As part of Trolley Renewal, delivered 44 of 65 new low-floor vehicles, reconstructed 14 of 17 Green and Orange Line stations, and extended the Green Line through downtown. Completed the Nordahl Bridge replacement project. Opened SR 905, easing the flow of crossborder commerce. Completed the middle segment of SR 76 between Melrose Drive and Mission Road. Began construction of I-15 Rapid improvements. Finished the Regional Beach Sand Project. Completed the project to replace the famous "Trestles Bridge" in San Onofre. Transitioned the Compass Card program to Albertsons. Transitioned the San Diego Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies to SANDAG. Finished Energy Roadmaps for ten local jurisdictions. Began work on the Series 13 Regional Growth Forecast. Gained approval of SB 1549 to use new project delivery tools for public transit. Conserved the 1,905-acre Hidden Valley property in partnership with other agencies.


Started construction on HOV/DAR project at Carroll Canyon Road and I-805. Opened SR 52 extension from SR 125 to SR 67. Opened auxiliary lanes on southbound I-805 from SR 54 to Bonita Road in Chula Vista. Launched Escondido BREEZE Rapid. I-15 Express Lanes expanded to four lanes from SR 163 to SR 56. Began construction on 1.8-mile segment of the Bayshore Bikeway in Chula Vista. Started construction on SuperLoop expansion project. FTA approved Mid-Coast Corridor Transit project for preliminary engineering. Adopted 2050 Regional Transportation Plan, including first Sustainable Communities Strategy in the state. TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program acquired 902-acre Rancho Lilac, bringing total acquisitions to 2,300 acres. Completed the migration from the legacy ARJIS mainframe to the Enterprise ARJIS system. Bought the lease to operate the SR 125 toll road.


Board approved a light rail transit alternative for Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project; environmental work underway. Compass Card program rolled out to all transit riders; monthly paper passes discontinued. Planning for the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan, scheduled for adoption in 2011, continued. Awarded $8.7 million for intelligent transportation system improvements on I-15. Began construction on the widening of SR 76 between Melrose and Mission Avenues. Coordinated with local, state, and federal agencies in U.S. and Mexico to build the third international border crossing. Secured $128 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for region. A robust TransNet Plan of Finance approved to advance additional capital projects to construction and prepare the next round of “ready to go” projects. Board approved San Diego Regional Bicycle Plan. As of December, 1,241 acres of land acquired under the TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program. Board accepted Series 12: 2050 Regional Growth Forecast for planning purposes. SANDAG and MTS began $620 million overhaul of the San Diego Trolley’s Blue and Orange Lines.


Secured $128 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for region. SANDAG and partner agencies acquired nine properties totaling nearly 1,000 acres for habitat conservation through TransNet Environmental Mitigation Program. Board approves Regional Energy Strategy update. Opened 3.5 mile I-15 Express Lanes segment. Allocated $70 million in TransNet funds to begin final design on the coastal rail corridor, HOV lanes on I-5 in North County, and South Bay Rapid. Received $20 million from Federal Transit Administration for Mid-City Rapid Bus Project. Received $1.7 million from SDG&E to advance Sustainable Region Program. Launched SuperLoop service in University City. Progress continued on major expansion of SR 52 extension from SR 125 to SR 67. Established effort to coordinate regional resources to combat graffiti.


The first stretch of I-15 Express Lanes opens. Construction begins on SR 52 extension from SR 125 to SR 67. Construction continues on SR 905 at the U.S./Mexico border. A Presidential Permit is granted for third U.S./Mexico border crossing. The original, 20-year TransNet program ends, and the 40-year extension begins. SB 1486 was signed into law which authorizes SANDAG to collect a toll from travelers using State Route 11 to develop and construct the new highway and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry facility. SB 1685 was signed into law which provides SANDAG the flexibility to expand the uses of sale tax revenues beyond transportation related projects for future ballot measures.


SANDAG awarded $432 million in state infrastructure bond dollars for transportation improvements. Board adopts $57 billion 2030 Regional Transportation Plan. Southern California Tribal Chairman's Association joins SANDAG as advisory member. Construction continues on I-15, I-5, I-805, and SR 52. California Energy Commission awards $450,000 to SANDAG for energy planning. SANDAG and the City of Tijuana approve the Otay Mesa-Mesa de Otay Binational Corridor Strategic Plan.


Construction on the I-15 managed lanes project continues - with the middle segment nearing completion and construction underway on the northern segment. Supplemental environmental work begins on the 11-mile Mid-Coast Trolley extension from Old Town north to UCSD and University Towne Centre. A technical update of the Regional Transportation Plan is prepared to satisfy requirements for reporting air quality conformity analysis and to incorporate TransNet Early Action Projects. Progress continues on implementing the Regional Comprehensive Plan. All jurisdictions identify opportunities for smart growth development in a new concept map. SANDAG works with state lawmakers to address infrastructure deficits.


SANDAG works to jumpstart highway and transit projects using new TransNet dollars. The Independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee (ITOC) is formed in accordance with TransNet ordinance to monitor program operations. Mission Valley East Green Line trolley from Qualcomm Stadium under SDSU to La Mesa begins service in July. SPRINTER commuter rail starts construction linking Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, San Marcos, and Escondido.


The Automated Regional Justice System (ARJIS) is consolidated into SANDAG. Directors create the Public Safety Policy Committee. The Regional Comprehensive Plan is adopted in July. Voters extend the TransNet sales tax program for 40 years to generate $14 billion to help fund highway, transit, and local street improvements. TransNet helps pay for the completion of SR56.


With the passage of state law (SB 1703), SANDAG becomes the consolidated regional agency on January 1. Transit planning, programming, project development, and construction will be consolidated into the regional agency during the next 13 months. Imperial County joins SANDAG as an advisory Board member. SANDAG adopts the $42 billion, MOBILITY 2030: Regional Transportation Plan seeking to make public transit competitive with solo drivers during rush hours.


SANDAG drafts a $42 billion, 30-year Regional Transportation Plan seeking to make public transit competitive with solo drivers during rush hours. On June 27, based on SANDAG action, the tolls are eliminated from the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Directors decide to develop a Regional Comprehensive Plan by mid-2004 with the goal of reducing urban sprawl, lessening traffic congestion, providing more housing and more affordable housing, saving habitat and other natural resources, and bolstering the economy.


Using $14.7 million in federal and state funds, SANDAG puts sand on badly eroded beaches from Oceanside to Imperial Beach. Working in close cooperation with MTDB, NCTD, and Caltrans, SANDAG approves The Regional Transit Vision with the goal of making public transit more time competitive with driving a car during rush hours.


SANDAG adopts the $29 billion, 20-year Regional Transportation Plan to reduce traffic congestion and limit urban sprawl. MTDB and NCTD join SANDAG as advisory members, and SANDAG joins the Joint Committee on Regional Transit.


SANDAG dedicates $76.4 million in federal funds for traffic construction improvements along the I-15 from Route 56 in San Diego, north to Route 78 in Escondido.


The SANDAG Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities (COBRO) provides public forums for cross border planning in the areas of transportation, environmental management, education, water supply, and economic development. Halfway through the 20-year TransNet program, 68% of the highway projects, 55% of the transit projects, and 53% of the local street program are completed.


The National Institute of Justice cites SANDAG for its outstanding work on the Drug Use Forecasting program, which assesses drug use among people as they are booked into jail. TransNet provides more than half the funds for the Mission Valley West trolley line between Old Town San Diego and Qualcomm Stadium.


SANDAG helps establish the San Diego Regional Partners in Homeownership. SANDAG starts the I-15 FasTrak Program to improve traffic flow, and expand bus and rideshare services in the corridor.


The San Diego County Water Authority joins SANDAG as an advisory member. SANDAG plays a major role in bringing together, and most importantly, holding together, all participants in the San Diego County Investment Fund.


SANDAG approves the first ever Regional Economic Prosperity Strategy. At the request of Caltrans, SANDAG assumes the management of Commuter Computer and transforms the operation into the RideLink service.


TransNet opens SR52 East, widens SR54 in the South Bay, opens SR56 East in the North City area, and completes improvements to SR78/I-15 interchange in the North County. The Freeway Service Patrol begins under a cooperative arrangement among SANDAG, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol.


State designates SANDAG as the San Diego-Coronado Bridge Toll Authority. SANDAG helps form a five-county rail coalition, and purchases rail right-of-way from Santa Fe Railway for the COASTER, and the Oceanside to Escondido SPRINTER rail commuter services.


Member agencies designate SANDAG as the Congestion Management Agency.


State designates SANDAG as the Integrated Waste Management Task Force. SANDAG helps start the San Dieguito River Valley Park Joint Powers Authority.


Agencies designate SANDAG as the Regional Planning and Growth Management Review Board.


Voters countywide pass an advisory measure calling for creation of a Regional Planning and Growth Management Board.


Voters countywide pass Proposition A - the local ½% transportation sales tax measure. TransNet, the $3.3 billion program starts for highways, transit, local roads and bicycles.


Encinitas and Solana Beach become cities and join SANDAG. State designates SANDAG as the Regional Transportation Commission.


SANDAG creates SourcePoint as a nonprofit corporate subsidiary to customize & sell research products.


Poway and Santee become cities and join SANDAG.


CPO renames itself as the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).


State designates CPO to prepare the Regional Housing Needs Statement.


The Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program is started for member governments. CPO helps establish the Automated Regional Justice Information System (ARJIS). CPO is jointly designated with County government to implement federal & state Clean Air Acts.


Lemon Grove becomes a city and joins CPO. CPO establishes the Criminal Justice Research Division.


CPO develops & adopts first ever comprehensive Regional Transportation Plan.


Local governments establish CPO as an independent Joint Powers Agency.


State further designates CPO as the Regional Transportation Planning Agency; Airport Land Use Commission; and Areawide Clearinghouse for federal/state grant reviews.


Governor designates CPO as the Metropolitan Planning Organization to assure areawide coordination and to serve as the technical and informational resource for local governments.


Local governments create the Comprehensive Planning Organization (CPO) as a long-range planning department within the San Diego County government under a state authorized joint powers agreement.