The Mid-Coast Extension of the University of California (UC) San Diego Blue Line Trolley adds an 11-mile critical new connection for San Diego, extending the light rail line from the Old Town Transit Center north to the University Towne Centre (UTC) Transit Center in University City. The UC San Diego Blue Line now provides a one-seat connection from UTC to downtown San Diego, and south to the U.S.-Mexico border.
WSP served as the project’s lead environmental and engineering consultant for more than a decade on behalf of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and was responsible for environmental, planning, preliminary and final engineering; New Starts services; and environmental support and design services during construction phases of the light rail extension operated by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.
In addition to 11 miles of new double tracks, the $2.1 billion project included the design and construction of eight bridge crossings, nearly seven miles of at-grade alignment in or near existing railroad right-of-way, more than four miles of aerial viaduct structures, and nine stations – five at-grade and four aerial. The project also included 1,170 new parking spaces at five of the new stations.
As the designer of record, WSP was charged with advancing the project from environmental clearance and conceptual engineering through to construction, including track and systems design and operations analysis, station design, traffic studies and engineering, civil and utilities design, grading and drainage design, roadways and bike path design, geotechnical investigations and fault studies, and structures design. WSP also provided grant procurement services that led to a $1 billion Federal Transit Administration Full Funding Grant Agreement in 2016, clearing the way for construction to begin. The Mid-Coast Extension was completed on time and on budget.