When Interstate 15 was extended through City Heights in the mid-1990s, it leveled homes and businesses and cut the community in half. Irate residents demanded concessions from the city and transportation officials, asking for additional infrastructure that might help weave the community back together.
Over the years, City Heights has gotten most of its freeway reparations, but a new neighborhood group is still working to get the last piece the community was promised – the art.
Teralta Park, a four-acre park built on top of a cap stretching over a chunk of the freeway, is the most noticeable attempt to reduce the impact. There are also the two large transit plazas built on bridges extending El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue over the freeway. And now there’s the under-construction Centerline project, which will add two bus rapid-transit stations to the freeway medians underneath the two decks.
The two transit plazas on University and El Cajon actually house elevators and other amenities that have been locked and unused, waiting for the bus stations to open below. Centerline stalled for three decades before finally breaking ground this summer after a long, hard push from residents.