All rail services from Solana Beach to San Diego will shut down through early Tuesday morning to accommodate Del Mar Bluff stabilization emergency repairs, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
The regional rail closure starts at midnight and affects the North County Transit District, Amtrak and freight carrier BNSF. The closure will end Tuesday at 4 a.m., in time for the morning commute.
In Del Mar, crews will install tieback anchors along previously placed steel beams into the bluffs south of Fourth Street as part of emergency repairs following a bluff collapse in late February, SANDAG officials said.
The incident caused SANDAG to suspend rail service temporarily over concerns of further collapse. Later, geotechnical experts determined that train service can be operated safely at a reduced speed, according to the City of Del Mar.
But beachgoers were still warned to avoid sitting, standing or walking within 50 feet of the bluffs on the beach below due to cracks at the top of the bluffs that posed a risk.
The cliffs are increasingly threatened by coastal erosion. SANDAG's work includes drilling holes into the bluffs, placing anchors and filling the holes with concrete.
SANDAG executive director Hasan Ikhrata said the reinforced bluffs should hold for two to three decades, giving SANDAG long enough to move the train tracks at least a mile inland.
Emergency stabilization repairs are expected to be complete by summer 2021.
Additional weekend rail closures between Solana Beach and downtown San Diego are scheduled for April 24 to 26 and May 1 to 3.
Visitors are urged not to sit, stand or walk within 50 feet of the Del Mar Bluffs or the beach below.
Weekend Coaster service is currently suspended due to COVID-19 service
reductions. However, the upcoming weekend closure will affect Amtrak trains. During the partial closure on Monday, NCTD will operate a bus bridge between Solana Beach and Santa Fe Depot.
Coaster service will maintain its normal operations and schedule between Oceanside and Solana Beach but southbound passengers past Solana beach will travel via Breeze bus.
The southbound buses will transport Coaster passengers from Solana Beach to each station, ending at Santa Fe Depot. Northbound buses will transport Coaster passengers from Santa Fe Depot, Old Town and Sorrento Valley stations to all stations north, ending at Oceanside Transit Center.