DEL MAR, Calif. — The Del Mar bluffs are getting extra reinforcement after the San Diego Association of Government secured $37 million in funds.
SANDAG engineers say this will help the project to ultimately relocate train tracks.
The project is intended to support the bluffs in the meantime as SANDAG continues to work to raise funds to relocate the tracks.
Now in the pocket of SANDAG is $37 million to stabilize the Del Mar bluffs and they are looking for bids.
“It’s great,” Del Mar resident Hayley Nemeroff said. “We would like them to stabilize the bluffs. The trains are what’s causing them to fail. We know not to lay by the bluffs because of all the damage with the rocks coming down.”
The stabilization project will include installing soldier piles, sea wall extensions, drainage improvements and retaining walls.
“We are getting ready to release the project for bid in April and then we’ll go through our contracting process, award a construction contract sometime in the fall and we expect onsite work to start by the end of the year,” SANDAG Senior Engineer Allie DeVaux said.
The project is expected to be completed within three years. Engineers say the project will help maintain the bluffs until the train tracks can be relocated by 2035. But SANDAG still needs to raise several billion dollars for that project.
“I do think trying to shore up the bluffs right now is very temporary and I worry that,” neighbor Meredith Rose said. “They’re being kind of ‘Penny wise. Pound foolish.’ Talking about 2035 and billions of dollars and sort of kicking the can down the road.”
SANDAG has raised about $300 million to study possible routes for the tracks to be moved underground. Some residents say that can’t come soon enough.
“I think unfortunate tragedy for them to wake up and say this is an immediate concern. It’s a safety risk for people on the train, for residents, people on the beach and I think they need to take it a little bit more seriously,” Rose said.
SANDAG hopes to begin construction on Phase 5 of the stabilization project by the Fall.