Vic Salazar Communications, liaison between the city and the Shores on the two ongoing projects, Avenida de la Playa Storm Drain Replacement and Sewer Group 809 Project, clued community planners in on recent developments.
Avenida de la Playa Infrastructure Replacement will improve storm water, sewer and water services to the community by creating more reliable systems replacing undersize storm drains, which have contributed to frequent flooding and resultant pollution to the adjacent Shores beach and its state-designated Area of Special Biological Significance. Shores beach access will be impeded early on as construction on the ocean outfall structure will close the boat launch ramp for about 2 ½ months.
The 809 Project will install new sewer and water mains within portions of the public right-of-ways of Avenida de la Playa, Paseo del Ocaso, E1 Paseo Grande, Vallecitos, Calle Frescota, Camino del Sol, Camino del Oro, Paseo Dorado and Avenida de la Ribera.
Both projects were combined into one and are being done concurrently to save time and cost.
“The Avenida storm-drain upgrade is a very involved project,” said LJSA chairman Tim Lucas. “It’s great that the city and sports vendors (kayakers) have gotten together to make this work during this difficult (construction) period.”
Salazar said the ocean outfall box on the beach at the end of Avenida de la Playa is being demolished, which is causing Camino del Oro to be closed off and traffic, particularly local kayak companies using the beach, to be diverted.
“Kayakers and lifeguards have reached agreement on the number of kayaks allowed (30 per company) at their staging area using Vallecitos to load and unload,” Salazar said.
Another issue has been where staging for construction work for both projects will be conducted, with the community highly resistant to using Nobel Laureate Park along the Shores commercial strip. The city found an alternative site it has leased from SDG&E on Hidden Valley Road.
LJSA planner Sue Geller questioned the appropriateness of staging on Hidden Valley Road.
“There are terrible problems there with traffic backup because of the lights (signals),” Geller said.
Officials responded it was the only choice available, pointing out the La Jolla Shores area in and around “the throat” is notoriously difficult to get in and out of.
“The morning commute is really the only concern,” said Lucas.
City engineer Akram Bassyouni said the 809 Project will go faster than storm-drain replacement.
“Sewer and water replacement goes a lot faster than storm-drain replacement because storm-drain pipe is so big,” he said, adding the objective of construction on both projects will be to “get in there and get out.”
According to the city’s website, Avenida de la Playa Infrastructure replacement, which just began, is scheduled to be done in summer 2014. Sewer and Water Group Job 809 is scheduled to be finished in winter 2015. Cost was estimated at $4.5 million for the Avenida de la Playa project and $10.5 million for the sewer and water job.
At its December meeting, the LJSA also supported new proposed regulations governing mobile food trucks, precluding them from operating in residential areas. Shores residents have been complaining for some time that food trucks have been operating illegally, and that they are an imposition on the community because they compete with local restaurants.
LJSA member Mary Coakley Munk suggested ice cream and pretzel vendors, not included in the same category as other food-truck operators, be covered along with others in the revamped regulations because they are equally disruptive to residential neighborhoods and community merchants.