Kristen Crane, Del Mar Management Services Director
Infrastructure Reinvestment Underway Throughout Del Mar
Major reinvestment in City infrastructure, amounting to over $7 million worth of projects, is currently underway in many different areas of Del Mar. The majority of these projects are scheduled for completion before Memorial Day weekend, in order to minimize inconveniences during Del Mar’s busy summer season. When complete, these changes will make a significant improvement on daily life in the community.
A combination of funding sources, including State and regional grants, is funding these projects. The City is also proactively coordinating the timing of independent projects that occur in the same geographic area to minimize community inconvenience and maximize cost effectiveness. For example, contractors are completing necessary underground improvements to the water and sewer system immediately before repaving streets scheduled for repair.
Sewer + Water + Arterial Paving = Getting the “Biggest Bang for the Buck”
The biggest project underway is the extensive, multi-part Sewer, Water, and Arterial Paving (SWAP) project. The SWAP project – costing around $5.7 million – primarily focuses on Via de la Valle (from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to Camino del Mar); Camino del Mar (from 22nd Street to Via de la Valle); and a small portion of Coast Boulevard near the Powerhouse Community Center. Scheduled for completion by Memorial Day weekend, construction began several months ago, and chances are you have seen the construction crews hard at work while driving in this area.
The multi-part SWAP project stemmed from the City’s plan to build a new sewer force main pipeline; this will redirect sewage flow north from the 21st Street Pump Station through Solana Beach to the San Elijo Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Cardiff -- a more cost-effective, long-term option for sewer treatment for Del Mar compared to our current arrangement with the City of San Diego.
In the interest of cost efficiency and shortened periods of disruption, it makes for a great opportunity to complete additional necessary projects in the area while roadways are being excavated to construct the new sewer infrastructure.
Leveraging an $812,000 SANDAG Active Transportation Program grant that promotes alternative modes of transportation from the traditional automobile, the SWAP project includes the installation of sidewalks along the south side of Via de la Valle and the east side of Camino Del Mar near North Beach, along with buffered bicycle lanes and three new pedestrian crossings. These improvements aim to improve the safety dynamic between pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.
Improvements in this area also created an opportunity to partner with the City of Solana Beach on a longtime goal of expanding the recycled water system infrastructure from the intersection of Via de la Valle and Jimmy Durante westward to Camino Del Mar. Solana Beach and Del Mar are sharing in this investment, which is beneficial for both communities. Del Mar, for the first time, will be able to service areas of the City other than the Fairgrounds with recycled water. The recycled water pipelines will extend southward down Camino del Mar to irrigate the landscaped medians, and plans are underway for future expansion to other public areas in the City.
Also woven into the SWAP project are several smaller scale projects, such as two new pedestrian crossings across Coast Boulevard at the Powerhouse and new parallel parking spaces along Court Street. Taking advantage of contractors already working in this area on other projects leads to cost-effective pricing.
In total, the SWAP project includes:
• Nearly a mile of new curb and gutter (4,500 linear feet);
• Nearly half an acre of new sidewalks (24,000 square feet);
• 1,800 linear feet of retaining walls;
• 900 feet of aluminum fencing;
• 20 pedestrian ramps;
• 533,000 square feet of pavement rehabilitation;
• Five new pedestrian crosswalks;
• Three rectangular rapid flashing beacon pedestrian crossing systems;
• Nearly a mile of new wastewater force main pipeline (5,000 linear feet); and
• More than a mile of recycled water pipeline (6,500 linear feet).
Facelift for the Powerhouse Outdoor Restrooms
The outdoor restrooms at the Powerhouse Community Center, last improved in 1999, are currently being rehabilitated. The restrooms are temporarily out of service while important repairs are being made to ventilation, plumbing, lighting, waterproofing, and the roof. Improvements also include fresh paint and coating for walls and floors and new restroom partitions and fixtures. Work is expected to be finished just in time for summer. In the interim, restrooms are available at the 17th Street Beach Safety Center.
River Path Del Mar Extension: Up Close View of Wildlife
A new extension of the River Path Del Mar, located west of Jimmy Durante Boulevard along the southern side of the San Dieguito Lagoon, is nearing completion. Once finished, the extended trail segment will be a new place to connect with nature. The path extends from the trailhead parking lot at the intersection of Jimmy Durante Boulevard and San Dieguito Drive to the Overlook at Old Grand Avenue Bridge. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and other festivities are planned for Saturday, May 21st, in conjunction with Lagoon Day. Visit www.delmar.ca.us for more information on time, location, and events. Funding for this valuable community enhancement comes from multiple sources, including the City of Del Mar, County of San Diego, and private donations made through the San Dieguito Lagoon Conservancy.
Anderson Canyon Bluff Repair: Expect the Unexpected
The unexpected wash-out of a bluff in Anderson Canyon due to heavy rains on the morning of January 5th added a new item to an already busy 2016 Capital Improvement Project work plan. In addition to the initial emergency response and stabilization of the area, work progressed to rebuilding the slope that supports the roadway (nearly complete). Shortly, contractors will begin restoration of the affected underground utilities -- including a storm drain, Del Mar and the City of San Diego wastewater pipelines, SDG&E electricity lines, a Southern California Edison gas line, and finally, repaving and returning the roadway to full service. This project also presented an unexpected opportunity to improve the pedestrian walkway and bicycle paths on the west side of the roadway, and is currently being conceptualized with input from community groups such as the Traffic & Parking Committee.
Last but not least ...
Meanwhile, the Public Works Department is also steadfastly completing other construction projects that make small, but important, improvements in the community. Examples include improving disabled access and pedestrian crossings at the intersection of 15th Street and Stratford Court, installing two Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon systems at the 12th & 14th Street crosswalks on Camino del Mar, underground utility repairs in different areas of the City, and kicked off a series of residential roadway paving improvements, with more to come in fall 2016.
The City Council and City staff appreciate the community’s patience and flexibility during this busy time of construction in town. The end results will be worth it!