Bluff Collapse Near Rail Line Has Del Mar Residents Concerned - NBC 7 San Diego

Bluff Collapse Near Rail Line Has Del Mar Residents Concerned

Residents are urging local leaders to move the rail line and improve safety in the area

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bluff Collapse Causing Concern

    Residents want more done to reduce the danger. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala has the details. (Published Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018)

    A dramatic bluff collapse in Del Mar is causing concerned neighbors to urge the city and the North County Transit District to move the railroad tracks away from the cliffs.

    The North County Transit District said the bluff collapsed just 65 feet from the rail line.
    Now, neighbors like Frank are urging local leaders to move the rail line and improve safety in the area.

    Three weeks ago, a bluff collapsed just 65 feet from the rail line. Now, residents, such as Frank Stonebanks, are urging local leaders to move the rail line and improve safety in the area.

    “Look if had anybody been standing on or near that or below it, it would've been game over for those people," he said. "So this is just a giant tragedy waiting to happen.”

    Jon Edelbrock, Del Mar's director of community services, said the responsibility of maintaining the stability and integrity of the bluffs falls to the NCTD. The city, however, has put up ample signage warning residents and beachgoers of the dangers. 

    The signs have been there for more than 30 years, he said.

    "If you're going to be out here on a bluff top even if you're not supposed to, I would highly encourage people to pay attention to their surroundings and use common sense," Edelbrock said.

    The bluffs are constantly in flux and if the city notices evidence of a potential collapse, such as cracks, it will put out more aggressive signage, he said.

    NCTD, for its part, said it is working with the San Diego Association of Governments on a potential Del Mar Tunnel, which would remove the tracks from the bluffs. 

    "We do not need to wait for a crisis to fund and construct improvements that will ensure the continued safe operations of this critical transportation infrastructure," the district said in a statement.

    The problem, however, is that it would cost billions of dollars and is currently unfunded.

    The district says it has requested additional funding through a U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant to advance its bluffs stabilization project.

    "We need to do something for us to all come together to make this work. We don't have the money as it stands today," Stonebanks said. "That doesn't mean we can't get the money."

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