Encinitas-Solana Beach Project Approved

Following an April 21 presentation in Washington D.C., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Review Board approved the release of the final integrated report ad environmental impact statement for the Encinitas-Solana Beach Coastal Storm Damage Protection Project. 

A tremendous amount of hard work and dedication over nearly 15 years was realized yesterday,” said Col. Kim Colloton, commander of the Corps’ Los Angeles District. “We received a unanimous 5-0 vote in favor of our recommended plan! We now have approval to release the reports for state and agency review –getting us closer to a Chief of Engineers Report.”

The five-member board voted to approve the study, which proposes methods to reduce storm-induced damage along the cities’ shorelines. The board took that action after presentations by South Pacific Division Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Toy, Colloton, Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar and Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner.

The review board culminated the study investigating a variety of methods to reduce the effects of erosion along the cities’ shorelines and included an independent external peer review by the private sector on Corps policy and technical issues.

Among potential actions were managed retreat of the shoreline, construction of revetments, seawalls, groins and breakwaters, notchfill and beach nourishment. The study ruled out all alternatives except hybrid (notchfill and beach nourishment) and beach nourishment.

Planners looked at the costs and benefits of periodically widening the beach. Crunching the numbers told the planners the most effective and economical methods for the two shorelines.

For Encinitas, the final plan calls for widening the beach by 50 feet by placing 340,000 cubic yards of beach sand along a 7,800-foot stretch of shoreline and adding an additional 220,000 cubic yards every five years.

For Solana Beach, the final plan calls for widening the beach by 150 feet by placing 700,000 cubic yards of beach sand along a 7,200-foot stretch of shoreline and adding an additional 290,000 cubic yards every 10 years.

The material will be acquired from two borrow sites located off Encinitas/Solana Beach and one off Mission Beach. The total cost of the 50-year project will be about $165 million, about $87 million from the federal government and $78 million from the non-federal local sponsors.

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