Work stabilizing Del Mar bluffs wins Project of the Year

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Phase 4 work of stabilizing the Del Mar bluffs was an emergency repair response.
SANDAG

HNTB was awarded Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association for the design and implementation of Phase 4 of the Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization Project.

The Del Mar Bluffs Emergency Repair project was submitted in the Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair category on behalf of the San Diego Association of Governments and North County Transit District who are collaborating on the ongoing stabilization project.

The scope of the project was an emergency repair response to flooding which washed out several locations and threatened stability of the main railway over a 1.6-mile span. Due to heavy rains in 2019, the existing soldier pile system required retrofit repairs along the failed portion of 60- to 70-ft-high bluffs. In addition to design, HNTB was responsible for the civil and structural engineering aspects of the repair.

“The HNTB team assessed the circumstances of the emergency and immediately developed a repair design recommendation that needed to be implemented quickly to prevent further damage and to get trains back to normal operations,” said Aamir Durrani, P.E., HNTB California structures lead and associate vice president. “Work that normally may have taken eight to 10 weeks was finished in just two weeks, including getting agency and railroad approvals, which was an unprecedented accomplishment by the team for our clients.”

The Del Mar Bluffs project spans 60 miles of a corridor between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, Calif. It is the second-busiest passenger rail corridor in the country. The rail lines are used by Amtrak, COASTER, Metrolink and BNSF freight trains. HNTB currently is leading the ongoing efforts to stabilize and protect the bluffs. 

“Supporting the continued safety and efficiency of the critical LOSSAN railway was both challenging and very rewarding,” said Patricia McColl, P.E., HNTB group director rail and vice president. “Everyone worked together to develop and execute the emergency stabilization repairs. Receiving this APWA recognition shows our innovative and successful collaboration on complex projects with public agencies.”

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Categories: Class 1, Commuter/Regional, Freight, Passenger, Rail News, Railroad News, Track Maintenance
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