Plan To Stabilize Del Mar Coastal Bluffs Moves Forward
Work to stabilize the coastal bluffs through Del Mar is moving forward, following a vote Monday by the Del Mar City Council.
Council members approved an encroachment permit Monday night, allowing SANDAG to work on a 1.6 mile stretch of coastline. This is Phase 4 of SANDAG’s bluff stabilization project, which began 18-years ago.
Work has already been completed along the bluffs at the end of 11th Street. The circles seen in the dirt to the west of the train tracks are actually the tops of 65-foot tall pilings that stabilize the bluffs.
The encroachment permit clears the way for SANDAG to do a $3 million drainage project.
SANDAG director of mobility Jim Linthicum said it’s drainage, not sea rise or high tides that poses the biggest threat to the bluffs. SANDAG will do the drainage project along a 1.6 mile stretch of coastline through Del Mar. Linthicum said it is work that’s overdue.
“The walls to the drainage structures and the drainage outlets have fallen down and they are decades and decades old," he said. "So we’re going to be repairing those, repairing some of the old retaining walls and sea walls and just keeping what we got out there in good shape.”
Work on the project is set to begin sometime in late September.
Linthicum also said that over the next year or so, SANDAG will consider long-range plans for the railroad tracks that run atop the Del Mar bluffs. Two proposals will be considered.
One involves digging a trench and putting the tracks in the trench. Linthicum said that would provide a stabilizing force between the tracks and the bluffs.
The other, much more expensive proposal, is a tunnel which would be located inland from where the tracks currently are. That project is estimated to cost up to $4.5 billion.