Moving the railroad tracks off the Del Mar bluffs seems like an unreachable goal, one that would costs billions of dollars and would require tunnel construction.
On Aug. 17, Rep. Mike Levin was in a way already sending a signal to construction crews.
The Congressman told a gathering that he has a request in on Capitol Hill for $12.5 million for design work for the rail tunnel project. The money would come from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that could pass by the end of the year.
So far over $11 million in federal grant money has gone towards stabilizing the bluffs, but continued collapses serve as an example that Mother Nature is not going to quit. Just this past February a section close to the tracks dropped, and served as a reminder to officials that the ultimate solution, moving the tracks, needs to happen as soon as possible.
Stress from freight and passenger trains is not going away, either. The LOSSAN Rail Corridor is the second busiest intercity rail corridor in the country, serving over 8 million passengers a year, and the tracks sit right on the bluffs.
White House National Climate Advisor and former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy also joined Levin on Aug. 17 along with other officials, including Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear. Blakespear stressed the importance of a partnership between state and local agencies like SANDAG to get such an enormous project off the ground, as well as federal support.