City engineer Akram Bassyouni told LJSA members on Feb. 13 that merchants’ concerns have been addressed and the project has been significantly scaled back with the help of an LJSA subcommittee that has been meeting with city officials for months.
The water pipeline infrastructure replacement project initially envisioned a much larger ocean outfall structure on the beach, as well as more serious — and longer term — disruptions to merchants along the Avenida de la Playa commercial strip.
“Construction will begin in September of this year, though we’re still waiting for EPA final acceptance,” Bassyouni said, adding there are “archaeological issues” still to be resolved with “sewer pipeline built in the ‘50s, or even sooner, that needs to be replaced.”
Bill Harris of the city’s Storm Water Division said work on the flatter portions of the sewer replacement project will be accomplished with a less intrusive trenchless construction method, which he said creates a strong extra layer and would “preserve the integrity of the pipeline.”
“Typically it’s less expensive,” Harris said, adding the pipeline would be good for 50 more years “because it’s structurally sound material.”
Bassyouni said both sewer and water projects would be bundled together in one contract and that construction, to be done block by block, would likely take 12 to 14 months to complete.
Shores resident Pat Granger said the Ventner Institute, now under construction on La Jolla Village Drive across from UCSD, is “much bigger and more massive” than previously advertised.
Board member Janie Emerson agreed, adding access to the project from busy Torrey Pines Road needs to be completely rethought with alternatives in mind as “that is one of the most trafficked areas and is such a mess now.”
Shores resident Tim Lucas noted another problem with UCSD, which has led to increased student parking in adjoining residential neighborhoods, is that the university continues to erect buildings on top of parking lots.
“Four hundred to 600 spaces of campus parking have been lost in the last five years in this way,” said Lucas. “Ironically, though it costs a lot to build, there’s no charge to destroy a space.”
LJSA will hold its annual group elections in March, with officer elections to follow in April. Eight two-year positions and 3 one-year positions on the LJSA board are available.
The advisory group, which makes recommendations to the city on land-use and park issues wihin La Jolla Shores, has a total of 16 board members, with half of the group up for election every other year.
“I’m hoping a lot of people will step forward and run for the two-year terms,” said board member Mary Coakley Munk. “We really need to focus on getting the community informed better. There are so many important projects we could be doing.”
The next LJSA board meeting will be Wednesday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m at Building T-29 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
For more information visit www.ljsa.org.