Light Rail as Planned

by Jim Neal, Chmn.; Transportation Practice Group, Boyle Engineering, San Diego, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 4, Pg. 54-57

Document Type: Feature article


The Mission Valley West project, an extension of the San Diego Trolley, runs 6.1 miles between Qualcomm Stadium and the Old Town District. Conceived by the Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) approximately 10 years ago, the project offers relief for an east-west freeway; helps tourists and residents get to two regional shopping malls; provides easy access to downtown San Diego and points farther south; enables commuters to use multimodal transportation to their advantage; and gives the public an ideal way to beat the traffic at hundreds of events held at Qualcomm Stadium each year. The $231 million project is MTDB's first light rail line to lie entirely outside of public streets and existing railroad right-of-way. Because the alignment parallels the San Diego River, and crosses an active fault line, engineers had to deal with environmental constraints, potential flooding, and perform extensive geotechnical studies to establish design criteria for the maximum credible earthquake.

Subject Headings: Rail transportation | Project management | Stadiums and sport facilities | Public transportation | Multimodal transportation systems | Light rail transit | Urban areas

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