$300M for plan to move tracks off crumbling Del Mar bluffs
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — California will provide $300 million to help relocate train tracks along a stretch of eroding seaside cliffs near San Diego, regional transportation officials said.
Local governments and the North County Transit District have spent millions buttressing sections of the bluffs in Del Mar that have collapsed in recent years, causing delays for passenger and cargo trains.
The funding to relocate the tracks inland comes as part of California’s $308 billion state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
The project is slated to cost about $2.5 billion, the newspaper said.
The new cash infusion will allow local officials to compete for matching funds from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year, said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments.
“This $300 million is a critical down payment,” he said.
Officials have said the main reason the bluffs are failing is that urban runoff seeps into the ground when residents and businesses irrigate their properties. Coastal erosion from waves and wind also plays a significant role.
The nearby Torrey Pines State Beach saw a sizable cliff collapse last Wednesday, which sent boulders bigger than a car tumbling onto the sand, the Union-Tribune reported. Nobody was hurt, according to law enforcement.