Rain Delays San Clemente Railroad Stabilization Project Reopening Until March

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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OCTA track stabilization crews clearing vegetation.

The Orange County Transportation Authority’s San Clemente slope stabilization project is facing further delays to restore its service between San Diego and Orange counties following several days of heavy rain.

OCTA officials said contractors must adjust their approach to installing several anchors at the south end of the project to ensure existing foundation piles are not impacted, according to the LA Times.

Passenger service has been halted across the construction area since track movement was identified in late September. Crews are installing two rows of ground anchors that stretch deep into the bedrock along a 700-foot-long slope above the tracks, a site prone to recurring landslides, the LA Times reported.

“Once work got underway, it was determined that the existing plans for the homes were not precise in detailing the location of the piles,” OCTA spokesman Eric Carpenter told the LA Times on Jan. 17. “Because of this, it required some changes to how the work would proceed to ensure safety, prevent additional movement in the hillside, and avoid any damage to those existing piles and the homes above.”

Carpenter also said the first row of anchors has been installed and that no further movement in the slope has been noted. Due to weather and site conditions, the project’s completion date has now been pushed back to late March after officials previously aimed for a completion date by the end of 2022, according to the LA Times. 

“Like everyone who travels this critical link in the state’s rail network, we want to see this emergency work completed as quickly as possible, but at the same time we have to be certain that trains are running on stable tracks and passenger safety is never compromised,” Carpenter told the LA Times.

Additional reporting on the San Clemente slope stabilization project by RT&S can be found here.