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Bluff Patch
Julie Maxey-Allison | 10th Street

Wednesday, August 22. The collapse of a roughly 50-foot-wide section of sandstone cliff onto the beach near the western terminus of 11th Street in Del Mar shortly before 3 p.m.
Photo Tom McGreal.
Click to enlarge.

The cliff collapse at 11th Street August 22 brings new attention to the inevitable receding and undercutting of our beachfront sandstone walls. This time no one was injured. But, with higher and harsher tides hitting the cliff foots and continued train crossings on top, our crumbling cliffs and falling rocks are a constant potential danger to those walking above and those below at the beach. Del Mar has a history of bluff failures going back over many years. Take care.
Meanwhile, efforts to shore up tattered territories, within the rail road right of way, on our beach and cliffs, are in place. SANDAG is planning to complete phase 4 of their ongoing stabilization process that was introduced in 2009. Representative Patricia McCool outlined SANDAG’s plans to reinforce and clean up problematic areas on 1.6 miles between Coast Boulevard and Torrey Pines State Beach for the Design Review Board.

The eight sites on their list are at sand level and on the upper cliffs.

At the sand level moving south of the Beach Safety Center: The storm drain head well will be replaced with a new one and the storm chute will be shored up from below with a new concrete base. The three timber retaining walls will be reinforced with additional galvanized steel supports to strengthen the rusty ones that will remain as anchors. Those non-functioning white pipes pocking out of the bluffs, known to SANDAG as “hydro augers,” will be removed. Above on the cliffs: south to north: the slope erosion at Anderson Canyon will be refilled and repaired as will the slope failure and drain at 7th Street. The drainage channel will be repaired as will the decomposed granite path from 6th-8th Street. The wall that has pretty much disappeared at 10th Street will be rebuilt.

While this was a courtesy report— the area to be worked on is controlled by the rail road—McCool explained the proposed work in detail, showed photos of the sections to be renovated, listened to comment and answered questions. All agreed that repairs will, when possible, blend into the cliffs/bluffs.

This work is scheduled to begin in December. The funding in place is coming primarily from the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and FTA Grant monies at an estimated the cost of $3.1 million. Additional funds will be needed to continue the work to stabilize and to preserve the track-bed support over the next 20 years. For more information click here.


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