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Tracking Tracks

Tunnel Vision
Ellie Haviland | City Councilmember

As your City Councilmember, nothing is more important to me than the safety of our citizens. One of my top concerns is the railroad right of way on our bluffs. Our City is working with North County Transit District (NCTD) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to ensure that our bluffs remain stable until the tracks can be moved off the bluffs.
SANDAG recently received approval from the California Coastal Commission (CCC) for the next round of bluff stabilization. This phase includes storm drain outlet repairs, reconstruction of three retaining walls at the base of the bluffs, repairs to storm water channels, regrading of pathways, slope failure repairs, and new and replacement soldier pile walls. Construction is expected to start this summer.
There are several components of the project that will improve public access to our coastline.

• The concrete-lined channel from 7th Street to 8th Street that is currently being used as a walkway will be replaced.

• The existing dirt path on top of the bluff, west of the existing drainage channel, will be filled and re-graded and a decomposed granite surface will be added to the path.

• The erosion and bluff failures near 7th street will be filled, and the path will be reestablished to an approximate 12-foot width.

• The erosion near Anderson Canyon will be stabilized to restore the original width of the path.

The repair of the three sea walls will cause an estimated loss of 9,450 sq. ft. of sandy beach. To mitigate that loss, the CCC has required additional public access improvements including installation of pathway lighting at Powerhouse Park and the repair of the eroded gully near the Carmel Valley Road and Highway 101 intersection.

SANDAG also agreed to additional measures to provide future improved public access including a comprehensive study to identify long-term public access improvements and the identification of funding sources for future bluff stabilization projects.

While the current work on the bluffs is essential, it is also important to expedite the long-term plan to move the train tracks off the bluffs and into a tunnel. As your representative to SANDAG, I will advocate for moving the design phase of this project up on the priority list in the Regional Plan update. Citizen engagement in the design of the tunnel will be critical to the success of the project in our community. So stay tuned and make sure your voice is heard!


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