Bluff collapse delays train service

DEL MAR, Calif. --  A bluff collapse near Seagrove Park temporarily halted train service Friday on a stretch of ocean-front rails in northern San Diego County.

A roughly 55-foot-wide chunk of earth sloughed off a cliff near the foot of 14th Street in Del Mar about 12:15 p.m., city lifeguard Mike Emerson said. No injuries were reported.

A number of people, including a surveyor who happened to be in the area, witnessed the collapse, and several videotaped it, city lifeguard Mike Emerson said.

Due to the close proximity of train tracks in the area, North County Transit District officials suspended rail service between Sorrento Valley and Solana Beach to allow for a safety inspection.

Several other non-injury bluff collapses have occurred in the same general vicinity in recent months.

At a recent Del Mar City Council meeting, the San Diego Association of Governments talked about its efforts to stabilize those vulnerable areas.

SANDAG says moving the tracks permanently could cost as much as three billion dollars, with an estimated completion date of 2050.

"Well, that seems like an awfully long time to wait, when we see these repetitive bluff failures," said long-time Del Mar resident Udo Wahn.

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