Crossing the railroad tracks, and the busy South Coast Highway 101, to reach Swamis State Beach in the City of Encinitas has always been a dangerous proposition for the hundreds of surfers and beachgoers who flock to one of California’s busiest beaches every year. With the completion of a new grade-separated pedestrian rail crossing off of Highway 101 at Santa Fe Drive crossing, this has been made significantly easier and safer. The $6 million project, which features a rail bridge, an underpass, and a new crosswalk and traffic signal on Highway 101, was opened to the public in 2013. The public works project, which was constructed on and adjacent to one of the busiest railroad corridors in the nation, proved to have its own unique challenges from both a project management and safety prospective. Close coordination with all project stakeholders was critical to the success of the project, including three different public agencies, several different utility companies, and numerous different trades and subcontractors. Despite its challenges, the project received great public acclaim with the community as a whole thanks to the positive public outreach throughout the entire construction process.
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