News Release

02.25.2021 | News Release

On Wednesday, February 24, SANDAG completed construction activities on Friars Road, near the San Diego River. Lane closures on Friars Road began in fall 2016, to accommodate the Mid-Coast Trolley and San Diego River Double Track projects.

“SANDAG is thankful to the community for their patience while construction was in place on Friars Road for these critical projects,” said SANDAG Chair and Mayor of Encinitas Catherine Blakespear. “The Mid-Coast Trolley and San Diego River Double Track projects will greatly improve the way people and goods move throughout the San Diego region, serving as great examples of how SANDAG aims to transform regional connectivity through the 2021 Regional Plan.”

The projects added three bridges over Friars Road and the San Diego River. A light rail bridge was constructed for the $2.1 billion Mid-Coast Trolley project, an 11-mile extension of the UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley; and two heavy rail bridges were constructed for the $93.9 million San Diego River Double Track project, to accommodate passenger and freight trains. Download before and after images of the bridges .

The Mid-Coast Trolley and San Diego River Double Track projects were funded through a combination of federal and local sources, including TransNet, the regional half-cent sales tax for transportation improvement projects.

The Mid-Coast Trolley project will extend UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley service from Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego north to the University community, serving major activity centers such as Mission Bay Park, the VA Medical Center, UC San Diego, and University Towne Centre. Major construction work began in 2016, with service anticipated to begin in late 2021.

Update on Construction Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic
Public works construction activities have been deemed essential, so we’re continuing to keep active construction projects moving during the pandemic. Protecting the health and safety of the San Diego region, including our partners, contractors, and stakeholders, is a top priority for SANDAG. Be assured that construction workers are following precautionary health measures, and we continue to monitor developments and follow all health guidance and orders.

For media inquiries, please contact Stacy Garcia at 619.699.1950 or