The coastal bluffs of Del Mar are a little bit stronger today. The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) board announced phase 4 of stabilization efforts is now complete.
The work involved the installation of more concrete and steel support columns, the replacement of a drainage channel located at the top of the bluffs and improvements to storm drains that transport water to the beach.
“The completion of this work demonstrates significant progress in our multi-phased strategy to secure the Del Mar bluffs and ensure the continued reliability of this important rail corridor,” Encinitas Mayor and SANDAG chair Catherine Blakespear said in a statement. “SANDAG is currently evaluating long-term alternatives to completely move the tracks off the bluffs to ensure the safe operation of the corridor, which serves nearly 8 million passengers annually, and is a major economic lifeline for San Diego County.”
In total, contractors have installed more than 230 concrete and steel columns along the Del Mar bluffs, which are eroding at a rate of 6 in. annually.
Crews also have installed seawalls and retaining walls and drainage channels to help improve the situation over the years.
In early December, the California Transportation Commission awarded the San Diego region $106 million for future railroad projects, including just over $36 million for phase 5 of the stabilization process. That phase should begin in 2022 and will include the construction of more support columns, drainage structures and seawalls.