NCTD releases public update on Del Mar bluffs work

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Rail traffic on the Del Mar bluffs is extremely high, pushing for the need to move the tracks.
NCTD

The North County Transit District (NCTD) has released a public update on the status of work along the Del Mar bluffs.

The North County Transit District (NCTD) [recently] issued a Public Update regarding its collaboration with the California Coastal Commission (CCC) and the City of Del Mar to enhance safety and rail service reliability along the bluffs in the City of Del Mar.

The Public Update provides an overview of the background, recent developments, and next steps in NCTD’s effort to develop a comprehensive plan for protective fencing on the rail segment along the Del Mar bluffs. The Public Update along with project frequently asked questions can be found here.

“NCTD is committed to developing a solution for the railway along the Del Mar bluffs that promotes rail safety and ensures reliability,” said Matthew Tucker, NCTD’s Executive Director. “Our collaboration with the Coastal Commission and the City of Del Mar seeks to develop a community-sensitive approach that furthers these goals until permanent, safe, and legal crossings can be constructed.”

Highlights of the Public Update include:

  • NCTD, the Coastal Commission, and the City of Del Mar have agreed to postpone the Surface Transportation Board’s regulatory review of NCTD’s rail rights along the bluffs. A Working Group was formed to review project alternatives and select a preferred approach by December 31, 2021.
  • NCTD has completed a geotechnical review validating that the proposed fencing would not impact bluff stability.
  • NCTD has retained Civilpros (a DBA of Railpros Holdings, LLC) to conduct right-of-way mapping, surveying, design, and other services to foster a complete understanding of the refined fencing proposal, including a visual impact analysis that will address the potential impacts of the fencing on public views.
  • The initial fencing plan proposed by NCTD has been refined to be more community sensitive while fostering increased safety and continued access to the trails on the upper bluffs. The refined fencing proposal, which is subject to review by Civilpros, reduces the overall length of the fencing by 7,262 linear feet (from 12,960 linear feet to 5,698 linear feet) and reduces the height of more than half the fencing from 6 feet to 4 feet, based on the geography and characteristics of the fencing location. The new proposal also eliminates uncoated chain link fencing, replacing it with post and cable fencing for approximately half the length and vinyl-coated fencing for the remaining portions.
  • NCTD is participating in the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) Coastal Connection Study, which will analyze potential locations for public access improvements along the Del Mar bluffs.

NCTD continues to work with the California Coastal Commission and the City of Del Mar to achieve a resolution that supports safety, rail operations, and accessibility.

Read the Public Update along with project frequently asked questions and full project history at GoNCTD.com. NCTD also encourages the public to visit our Trespasser Mitigation webpage for additional information related to this project and other initiatives.

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