La Jolla coastline projects nearing completion or delayed

With summer crowds beginning to descend on La Jolla, the city of San Diego is working to finish one local shoreline project, while two others are delayed for various reasons.

Shell Beach Erosion

An emergency project to correct storm drain issues that have led to cliff erosion above Shell Beach is nearing completion, according to city spokesperson Tyler Becker.

The $2 million project began in the fall, with crews working to re-route approximately 80 feet of sidewalk away from the coastal bluff and replace 95 feet of 24-inch storm drain.

Construction crews are finishing up the site restoration, Becker said, which includes planting sod and installing new wooden guardrails. The area where the sod is planted will be fenced off to allow for it to establish roots.

The contractor is expected to demobilize the rest of the site within the next month, Becker added.

As Memorial Day marked the beginning of the city’s summer construction moratorium, which pauses construction work in the coastal areas to prevent further traffic snarls, city staff is working to obtain a waiver to allow the emergency project to continue through completion, Becker said.

The Children’s Pool Seawall

curved seawall at the children's pool in La Jolla shows broken metal bars under construction, part of La Jolla coastal projects At The Children’s Pool, the damaged seawall is still awaiting repairs.

Severe storms took out a few of the seawall’s railings at the end of December; city officials had been waiting until the end of harbor seal pupping season on May 15 to further assess the destruction to the wall, which is normally open to pedestrians during daylight hours when waves will not crest the top.

The wall has been closed since Dec. 31 and will remain closed until repairs are made.

The repair work “is outside the scope of services the [city’s] Park and Recreation Department can safely deliver,” said city spokesperson Benny Cartwright; the city is working to engage an outside contractor.

There is no confirmation of when work might begin, although Cartwright estimates it might start in July.

South Casa Beach Stairs

Just south of The Children’s Pool, the stairs at South Casa Beach have been closed since Jan. 3, as the same storms that damaged the seawall are thought to have eroded the bottom of the staircase beyond use.

The Parks and Recreation Department is working with other city departments and disciplines to address the failing staircase and secure funding, Cartwright said.

The project will also require a Coastal Development Permit from the California Coastal Commission, he said, adding “all of these activities make this project a multi-year effort.”

Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.
Picture of Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto

Elisabeth Frausto has been reporting on and writing about La Jolla since 2019. With dozens of local and state journalism awards to her name, Elisabeth knows the industry as well as she knows her community. When she’s not covering all things 92037, you’ll find her with coffee in hand staring at the sea.

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