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Pulling Teeth
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

With voices from City leaders and the project team, Del Mar TV tells the story of the Downtown Streetscape Project in a video rich with images and information.
Watch on the Sandpiper website or at:

Click to enlarge.


New sidewalks on the 1100 block of West Camino del Mar included brick accents. Photo City of Del Mar.

There seems to be a whole lot of moaning and groaning going on over the construction of our new Downtown Streetscape. We bet when all is said and done we are going to love the results and wonder why we had been so impatient. In the meantime we decided to shine some light on the issue now, sharing the complaints we have heard and asking City Manager Scott Huth how come, for instance, construction is taking so long; why are we doing this in the middle of summer when there are many more visitors coming to Del Mar? Or “what’s the big deal anyway; looks like it is just a bunch of new curbs and some cross walks.
Scott feels your pain and is doing his share of moaning and groaning. Based on his experience as City Manager in Coronado during that city’s Streetscape project and, as a resident of La Mesa during that city’s project, he declares “I hate the process but love the outcome.” He explains that Streetscape projects are among the most complex, difficult and worst projects to manage. “There are so many construction variables while at the same time keeping the traffic moving and the businesses open.” The construction variables include weather, unforeseen corroded infrastructure (“the roadway is 40 to 50 years old riddled with challenges that we couldn’t not fix”), working with private property owners and businesses making changes “in the field” that were simply the “better thing to do.” And given the road is expected to last for the next 50-100 years.

New crosswalk at 10th St provides a “safe haven” for pedestrians.
Photo City of Del Mar.

Bids for the project went out last November, and work started in January, purposefully after the Christmas season, and was expected to be finished by Memorial Day. Then came the “wettest winter” with more than 40 rain days that required “cover up” preparation before and “clean up” after, the unforeseen such as 18-20inch concrete from the original road in the medians planned for new trees, two storm drains with “paper” bottoms, sink holes…things we couldn’t not fix. And the project added amenities such as more pedestrian ramps and access that “we were not so rigid” to bypass. This has pushed the completion date to the end of August and, as Scott commented, “there is no upside during the project, it’s like being in the dentist chair but happy with the results.”



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