DEL MAR, Calif. — Heavy surf and hightides have swept the beaches clear of sand berms, leaving the bluffs more vulnerable to failures.
Local officials are warning the train tracks and commuter trains need to be moved inland as fast as possible.
“The wave action will slowly erode the bluff at the bottom, just like in San Clemente, we need to get the train off the bluff,” said Dave Druker, a Del Mar city councilmember.
There is a plan to move the tracks starting 2026, but officials say that could take a decade or longer.
“We don’t want to have a train end up on the beach,” Druker said.
San Clemente has already had a bluff failure which has cut off commuter trains for months. The combination of rain, storm surf and high tides has helped officials get a temporary ruling to start to temporarily armor the bluffs in an attempt to buy time before the tracks are moved inland.
“Put more armoring on the bluff with soldier piles that go all the way down to the bedrock. It will also put some seawalls along the bluff toe to stop some of the erosion at the bottom of the bluff,” Druker said.
New tunnel access is also on the table to bring beachgoers from 7th and 11th to the beach without crossing the tracks.