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Del Mar bluff failure closes sidewalk, road lane

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A bluff slide closed the northbound lane of Jimmy Durante Boulevard over the weekend.
(Courtesy city of Del Mar)

Part of a steep, shrub-covered hillside collapsed onto northbound Jimmy Durante Boulevard early Sunday, April 21, forcing the city to detour traffic around the area until experts determine the best way to clear and repair the road.

“It started Saturday night, but most of it occurred Sunday morning,” Del Mar Public Works Director Joe Bride said Tuesday, April 23. The slide covered about 100 feet of sidewalk, bike lane and road with brush, dirt and debris, reaching the travel lane east of the Camino Del Mar intersection.

“Pending further review by geotechnical engineers, northbound Jimmy Durante Boulevard north of the Camino Del Mar merge remains closed to through traffic,” states an announcement on the city website. The engineers’ report will help determine what needs to be done and how long it will take.

“They are looking at it right now,” Bride said.

He advised people to stay away from the area because it’s unsafe, and he declined to say when the road might reopen.

Northbound vehicles and cyclists on Camino Del Mar, also known as Highway 101, are being detoured around the area onto Via de la Valle and southbound Jimmy Durante Boulevard, which remains open.

Del Mar, like much of coastal North County, is built atop coastal bluffs subject to erosion. The steepest, most fragile bluffs are at the edge of the beach south of Powerhouse Community Park.

The past winter was wetter than normal, leaving soils saturated throughout the region.

-- Phil Diehl is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


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