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Battle Over the Embarcadero

Audio

Aired 8/26/09

The San Diego Port District will not halt construction of a new cruise ship terminal downtown, in spite of a lawsuit filed by a group of waterfront activists.

— The San Diego Port District will not halt construction of a new cruise ship terminal downtown, in spite of a lawsuit filed by a group of waterfront activists.

The Port hopes to avoid a lawsuit over the Embarcadero by negotiating with citizen activists and the Coastal Commission.

The Coastal Commission approved a cruise ship terminal at the foot of Broadway, but activists have filed suit to block it. They are fighting for a ten acre oval public park next to the pier that was a focal point in the Port’s Master plan.

Ron Powell of the Port District says further study of the oval park has shown it is not feasible because the eastern part of it is on Navy property and the western side would have to be cantilevered out over the Bay.

“It’s off the table,” Powell says. “Another problem with the oval is that you would have difficulty getting trucks in and out of the pier to service cruise ships.”

The Port wants to keep the lucrative cruise ship industry close to the airport and downtown.

Opponents of using the Embarcadero as a cruise ship terminal suggest the vessels could dock at the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal, just south of the convention center. The main activity there currently is unloading cargo of giant windmill parts and tons of bananas.

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