Del Mar repairing Ninth Street sinkhole, notifying NCTD of needed maintenance

By Claire Harlin

The Del Mar City Council on March 18 authorized $30,000 for repairs after a bluff collapsed, possibly during a heavy March 8 rainstorm, causing a sizable sinkhole at the western-most end of Ninth Street and affecting railroad operations. The city plans to recoup costs from the North County Transit District (NCTD), which owns the land and is responsible for it, in addition to encouraging the regional entity to step up maintenance in order to avoid failures in the future.

Del Mar Public Works Director Eric Minicilli said it’s uncertain whether the sinkhole was caused by erosion or a bluff failure, but when it was discovered on the morning of March 9, the city put in a temporary storm drain to secure the site. He said the city planned to begin permanent repairs on March 19, immediately after the funding approval. He added that some residents have approached the city in an effort to save the wall that stretches across the sinkhole, but he said it’s likely at least some of the wall will have to be removed.