Senators Kehoe And Lowenthal Invite Public To Meeting on I-5 Freeway Expansion; City Of Solana Beach To Hold Special City Council Meeting TonAnnounce Results Of Expansion Study

California State Senator Alan Lowenthal will chair a hearing on the proposed I-5 freeway expansion from La Jolla to Oceanside Monday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, 120 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach.

SOLANA BEACH, CA - California State Senator Alan Lowenthal will chair a hearing on the proposed I-5 freeway expansion from La Jolla to Oceanside Monday, Nov. 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, 120 Stevens Ave., Solana Beach.



Caltrans officials Laurie Berman, District Director, Caltrans District 11; Gary Gallegos, Executive Director, SANDAG; and Allan Kosup, Interstate-5 Corridor Director, Caltrans; are expected to present the expansion plan at the meeting. Additionally, Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, will address how California state law and requirements included in AB 32 and SB 375 would affect which expansion alternative, if any, is selected.



"The point of the meeting is for Caltrans and SANDAG to explain to the public what they are proposing, and how it will affect communities along the I-5 corridor," said Senator Kehoe. "When proposing a project of this scope and magnitude, it's essential that the broadest public discussion take place."



There will be time for public commentary at the meeting, and organizers are planning to accommodate as many speakers in the allotted time as possible. Local community groups CAFÉ (Citizens Against Freeway Expansion) and the Sierra Club, among others, are expected to speak about the expected environmental impacts of the proposal.



The cities of Solana Beach, Encinitas and Oceanside have hired consulting firms to evaluate the proposed expansion's affects on their cities. The Solana Beach study is nearing completion, while the other impact evaluations will begin soon.



The City of Solana Beach announced that it is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m., Thursday Nov. 18 at Solana Beach City Hall, 635 So. Highway 101, Solana Beach, to discuss its staff report, on the impact of the expansion on Solana Beach. The report was prepared with the help of professional consultants. The public is welcome to attend and comment on the proposal.



Background: CalTrans is requesting citizens' comments on its Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) by Nov. 22, 2010. The DEIR details a 40- year, 27 mile, up to 18-lane project, which is estimated to cost between $3 and $4.3 billion. Upwards of 113 homes and 13 businesses may be seized to make way for the project.