ENCINITAS — As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enters the second week of its sand restoration project in Solana Beach, leaders are considering delaying the next phase of work in Encinitas by a month.
Under the original schedule, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was set to finish pumping 700,000 cubic yards of sand onto the Solana Beach shoreline by mid-March and then move on to Encinitas to begin adding around 340,000 cubic yards of sand from north of Swami’s Beach to south of Beacon’s Beach by April.
However, leaders are now debating whether to push off the Encinitas phase and instead return to another sand dredging project in San Clemente, which took place before work in Solana Beach but was put on hold earlier this month due to poor sand quality.
“USACE is working on schedules and coordinating with the City of San Clemente and the City of Encinitas to assess whether it would be best for all parties to reconvene work at San Clemente after either Solana Beach or Encinitas,” said Susie Ming, project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The San Clemente project was launched in December and involved pulling sediment offshore of Oceanside. It was repeatedly delayed due to winter storms and then paused altogether at about 10% completion after the needed sand was found to be buried under layers of rocky sediment.
Encinitas leaders told the City Council on Jan. 17 that they are in touch with USACE about the possible delay. Work to complete the San Clemente berm, much smaller than planned work in Solana Beach and Encinitas, will take around one month.
“San Clemente may start in March — moving us back two months to start essentially in May — to finish their berm,” said Encinitas Coastal Zone Program Administrator Todd Mierau. “Those details are kind of being worked through the Army Corps over the next couple of weeks to see if we would go first and stay on schedule, or San Clemente would start again.”
During the Encinitas phase, sand will be pumped onto the beach near D Street from a borrow site around 3,500 feet offshore of the San Dieguito Lagoon. The sand will then be moved and shaped into a berm along the beach.
The staging area for the Encinitas project will be at Moonlight Beach, which will be partially closed to protect public safety.
In Solana Beach, the recent storm did not negatively impact sand dredging work. As of Tuesday, the Fletcher Cove beach access ramp continues to be closed to the public.