Caltrans is attempting a delicate balance between expanding the Interstate 5 freeway and protecting nature in the North County.
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The department is planning to expand I-5 from La Jolla to Oceanside. It plans to add new express lanes over six North County lagoons from Los Penasquitos Lagoon north to Buena Vista Lagoon.
"We can lengthen the lagoon bridges out there and improve water flow," said Alan Kosup, who is with Caltrans.
Caltrans said the expansion will allow more water to flow into the lagoons. That is something environmentalists want.
Doug Gibson is part of a group that works to protect San Elijo Lagoon.
"Really, there's an opportunity here," he said.
Gibson said his group has been expressing concern regarding water and wildlife since the I-5 expansion project began. He said Caltrans has listened and made changes along the way.
"Our job is to make sure that those mitigation measures get put into place," said Gibson.
On Friday, Caltrans released more environmental data.
"The information we're providing today, we think, is very much in alignment with a lot of the folks' concerns," said Kosup.
Instead of putting the two groups at odds, the new information has reassured environmentalists that nature will be protected.
Caltrans will be opening a period of public comment over the next few weeks.
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