Here's What You Should Know About the Dispute Over Del Mar Train Tracks -

Here’s What You Should Know About the Dispute Over Del Mar Train Tracks

Government officials and residents are at odds over plans to fix the crumbling Del Mar train tracks, which are located on quickly eroding coastal bluffs.

Residents of the small coastal community of Del Mar voiced their concerns about plans to reroute the train tracks to a tunnel underneath their homes, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Local government officials, however, say that some type of rerouting is inevitable.

“This project will happen. We have a mandate from the state and federal governments to move the tracks off the bluff,” said Coleen Clementson, interim CEO of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

The issue at stake are train tracks that sit on the coastal bluffs of Del Mar. Since the tracks were moved there in 1910, the coastal bluffs have eroded at an average annual rate of 6 inches, meaning that they’re now incredibly close to falling off the cliff.

If the bluffs collapse and the train tracks are damaged, experts warn that it could damage San Diego’s economy and more. The tracks are the only ones that connect San Diego to other cities to the north and south, and any disruption could worsen traffic on San Diego freeways — and even hamper the nation’s military readiness.

For their part, residents of Del Mar are concerned that train tunnels underneath their homes may affect property values and increase the potential for hazards like sinkholes, noise pollution, and vibrations.

As an alternative, Del Mar residents say the train track should follow Interstate 5, which could make the route longer and include part of Solana Beach. SANDAG said this approach would be much more expensive than the already hefty price tag.

No final decision has been made on the exact route the next Del Mar train tracks will take, but county officials say that they will announce a preferred route in the spring after careful consideration.

Media credit: Image licensed from Adobe

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