Proposed changes to railways could help bluff erosion

Local

DEL MAR, Calif. — The City of Del Mar is one step closer to a solution to the years-long issue of railways on eroding bluffs.

“It’s never been more serious to do this project,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of SANDAG.

On Monday, SANDAG presented the Del Mar City Council with a new alternative analysis for the Del Mar Realignment Plan to remove tracks from the eroding coastal line. Five lines are being considered.

“We discussed each of the five alignments, you see a top of the table, and then we put a rating to each one,” Linda Culp with SANDAG said.

The study shows the best rated is Crest Canyon and Camino Del Mar lines to cut travel time. The I-5 line is the most expensive and the slowest.

SANDAG also provided an update to the SD-LOSSAN Corridor study, which looks at a long rail line that sees 8 million riders each year. It carries roughly $1 billion worth of goods through San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo.

Two types of trains are being studied, diesel and zero emissions. The new line would involve new rail stations and double tracks with speeds up to 110 miles per hour.

“If there’s any possibility of us getting America Jobs Act, which is the infrastructure funds, you know, let’s go for it. It sounds like $3.5 billion is kind of the price tag for all of this,” Del Mar Mayor Terry Gaasterland said.

The entire study should wrap up by April 2022.

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