Del Mar to revamp Via de la Valle intersection

By Claire Harlin

Residents who have gotten used to driving through mosquito-collecting standing water on San Dieguito Drive near the corner of Jimmy Durante Boulevard, or those who have been inconvenienced by not being able to cross from all directions at the intersection of Via de la Valle and Camino del Mar, will see those problems solved over the next several months.

The City of Del Mar on Feb. 6 introduced plans to install a new storm drain system to remove puddling on the southern edge of San Dieguito, as well as reconstruct the entire Via de la Valle intersection north of Dog Beach by the Brigantine restaurant, adding a new crosswalk, curb and pedestrian ramps. The community will also see the addition of a five-foot-wide sidewalk from Dog Beach to Via de la Valle on the west side of Camino del Mar, where there is currently no adequate safeway for pedestrians. A request for proposal (RFP) for the project, estimated to cost about $375,000, went out earlier this month and public works director Eric Minicilli said Del Mar staff will be reviewing the proposals within the next week. A contract is expected to be awarded by the Del Mar City Council on Feb. 19.

Construction will take place from March until June, he said, with priority given to the more complex work at the Via de la Valle intersection in order to finish before the opening of the San Diego County Fair on June 8. He said the city aims to have the entire project completed before Memorial Day, however.

The project will be funded in part by two grants — a $13,000 federal community block grant and $25,000 in county vector habitat remediation funding — as well as $200,000 in TransNet tax funding, $25,000 from the Santa Fe Irrigation District and $112,000 from the city’s general fund.

Minicilli said the Santa Fe Irrigation District funding was made possible because there was a problem with the water lines, which led to the opportunity to upgrade the crosswalk and sidewalk in the process. Currently, pedestrians can only legally cross Highway 101 on the north side of the Via de la Valle intersection.

He also said that when the city applied for the local grant, awarded by San Diego’s Department of Environmental Health, county officials identified the standing water on San Dieguito Road as a longstanding issue that needed to be prioritized, along with another vector control issue near the train tracks along the San Dieguito Lagoon. The San Diego County Vector Control Program (VCP) is a county environmental health branch that aims to prevent transmission of human disease by “vectors,” such as mosquitoes, ticks and rodents. That portion of the project, to take place from the tracks to 21st Street in Del Mar, is in the design process and awaiting permitting and information regarding possible environmental-related mitigation requirements.