Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization


Project Overview

SANDAG and the North County Transit District (NCTD) are leading efforts to stabilize portions of the coastal bluffs in the City of Del Mar. This integral part of the 351-mile Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) rail corridor is a vital link for passenger and freight movements within San Diego County, as well as between San Diego, Los Angeles, and points farther north.

Questions? Call our construction hotline at (858) 549-RAIL or email us at [email protected].

Previous Bluff Stabilization Efforts 

Since 2003, SANDAG and NCTD have completed four stabilization projects along coastal bluffs between Coast Boulevard and Torrey Pines State Beach. These stabilization projects saw the installation of more than 230 support columns into the bluffs and critical investments into drainage infrastructure to help reinforce and protect the Del Mar bluffs.

Construction of Phase 4 occured from May 2020 to January 2021. Improvements included the installation of additional support columns to stabilize localized areas and sea walls, construction of a drainage channel on top of the bluffs, repair concrete channels and storm drain outfalls, and stabilization of existing headwalls. 

Future Improvements  

SANDAG and NCTD have identified the funding needed to accelerate the final two phases of stabilization projects, Del Mar Bluffs Phases 5 and 6. Phase 5 is currently funded through construction and will address additional seismic and general stabilization needs, install additional support columns, and replace more aging drainage structures. Phase 6 will continue to provide long-term rehabilitation and stabilization work, including protecting the base of the bluffs against additional bluff retreat. Simultaneously, to ensure the long-term viability of the corridor, SANDAG is evaluating alternative strategies to move the tracks completely off the bluffs.

Phase 5 of bluff stabilization is anticipated to begin in early 2024.

Map of future Del Mar Bluffs Stabilizations Efforts

Importance of the LOSSAN Rail Line

The LOSSAN rail line is a vital component of the north-south corridor through the San Diego region. The NCTD COASTER commuter rail service, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner intercity service, and BNSF Railway freight service all rely upon this segment of track to serve a combined 7.6 million passengers a year and $1 billion in goods and services that are supported by rail line reliability. In 2019, these services relied upon 44 passenger trains and 6 freight trains. By 2030 these numbers will have increased to 78 passenger trains and 22 freight trains, only further illustrating the need for rail line reliability. SANDAG is currently commissioning an in-depth analysis of the economic impacts of LOSSAN rail corridor to the San Diego region.

Contact Information

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