Mid-Coast Trolley expansion causing noise, traffic back ups along route

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Expansion of the Mid-Coast Trolley is well underway. The project is set to create a one-seat ride from the International Border up to University City. The extension is expected to generate 21,000 new daily riders at nine new stations along beach communities, the VA Medical Center and UC San Diego Campus. 

But, construction on the project isn't going unnoticed. 

"The level of noise is going up," said Chelo Beltra. "Everybody's talking about the same situation."

Crews are working day and night to extend the trolley 11 miles up to UCSD. In the Morena area, they're digging, drilling and building right along the train tracks. 

The train is required to honk its horn every time it passes a construction site. Residents nearby say it's keeping them awake at night. 

"To hear the horn go, it's like woah, did someone get run over? Is someone on the tracks? That's what I was thinking," said Adrian Zed.

Construction is impacting neighborhoods along Interstate 5 like Old Town, Clairemont, UCSD and University City. That means lane closures and detours for a lot of drivers. 

"You'll see barrels put up along the side there where two lanes have been made into one and that's really sad," said Zed. 

"It's caused accidents already. I've seen them. Head on collisions. People get up, you know, they want to pass whoever is driving slower. Because of that, there are accidents."

Some residents say they can't handle it for another four years.

"So many people are thinking we have to move, said Beltra. "This is not good anymore. This is not the neighborhood that it used to be."

The new trolley is creating 14,000 new jobs during its construction phase. Once it's done, it's projected to bring in $116 million in economic benefits each year. 

Service along the new route is set to begin in 2021. 

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