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What’s Your Viewpoint?
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheater Drive


Lagoon Viewpoint at the Grand Avenue Bridge. Photo Stu Smith
Click on image to enlarge.


On October 20 the Del Mar City Council was to consider “Adoption of a Resolution to Revise the Name of the San Dieguito Lagoon Preservation Committee” and Recommend that the City Council Rename the Lagoon Viewpoint at the Grand Avenue Bridge as the Riverpath Pier. This was proposed by Council liaisons to the Lagoon Preservation Committee, Mayor Lee Haydu and Councilman Don Mosier. At the urging of Jacqueline Winterer, representing the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley, which was instrumental in preserving that part of the Bridge that is now a viewpoint or, according to some, a pier, the Council decided to table the motion for consideration at its December 1 meeting. The Lagoon Committee has intermittently been called just that, without ‘preservation’, and the change seems innocent enough. But the back story of naming the Grand Avenue Bridge Viewpoint is more complicated.

My old copy (1999) of the Thomas Guide for San Diego County, page 1187, clearly designates as ‘Grand Avenue’ the road leading off San Dieguito Drive to cross part of the lagoon to the former site of the airport. But older maps show Grand Ave to be, at least in part, what became Route 101 and is now Camino del Mar. There is still a remnant of this Grand Avenue which you pass (without noticing the clearly visible street sign?) as you come up from Jimmy Durante going south. So the Grand Avenue Bridge may have been a construction, that is, misconstruction of a mapmaker. But the name has stuck, so far.

The immediately interesting quandary is how the former bridge structure comes to be called the Riverpath Pier, if it does. In the past two years the Lagoon Committee has made plans for an extension of the Del Mar Riverpath picking up on the east side of Jimmy Durante at the north side of San Dieguito Drive (site of the former recycling center), and their March 19 Minutes report that “a subcommittee of J. Barnouw, J. Kulongoski, W. Michalsky and J. Winterer met and agreed to propose a name change from Grand Avenue Bridge “Overlook” to become Riverpath Pier when the proposed trail is built out. That may be very soon.

Funding to kick-start this project will come from a County grant to the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and Del Mar has budgeted $20,000 towards the project. The Conservancy newsletter refers to the project as “River Path Del Mar.”


View of the San Dieguito Lagoon from the
Grand Avenue Bridge.
Painting Mac McMillan
Click on image to enlarge.



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