Lane closures, night work to finish slope restoration in La Jolla

City crews work the first week of May to complete the Torrey Pines Road Slope Restoration project.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

With Memorial Day and the start of the summer construction moratorium just a few weeks away on May 27, the Torrey Pines Road Slope Restoration Project is in its final stages.

Although San Diego public information officers could not confirm that the project would be complete by the Memorial Day holiday, City Council member Barbara Bry’s field rep Mauricio Medina told the La Jolla Community Planning Association during its May 2 meeting: “The latest information I have is that they are aiming to finish by the end of this month” and that “we are trying to get the Public Works Department to wrap this up.” Should the project not be complete, work would suspend until the end of the summer construction moratorium (Labor Day, Sept. 2).

The work thus far has meant closures in the eastbound lanes of Torrey Pines Road, and some battles about whether to do some of the work at night.

Here is a schedule of the next few weeks of work, as provided by the City:


May 13-17: Day work with one eastbound lane closed. “Work should finish up installing the finish on the wall, and then begin installing the permanent safety railing next to the wall,” said City spokesperson Alec Phillipp.

“Additionally, back-filling the top of the boulder-scape wall will be completed. This back-filling consists of placing and compacting dirt where the natural slope meets the boulder-scape wall to ensure no gaps at the top of the wall before brow ditch construction.

“The brow ditch is a storm drain ditch that runs along the top of the wall. It catches storm water and directs it down to the gutter on the street.”

May 20-24: Night work from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday-Thursday.


“The roadway will be paved this week,” Phillipp said. “Outside lanes will be closed first for paving and traffic will be open in both directions on the inside lanes. Next, the inside lanes will be paved and the outside lanes will be open to traffic. The brow ditch will also be constructed.”

The project, located on the south side of Torrey Pines Road between Roseland Drive and Little Street, is a continuation of the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project Phase II, which started last year, and will reconstruct a 350-foot section of earthen slope.

The project saw multiple delays since construction began in 2018, including unforeseen underground utility conflicts, and work to protect an existing tree; as well as community concerns over when the work should take place.

In the later part of 2018, residents debated whether to have the work done during the day, which caused traffic backups along the busy thoroughfare; or at night, to the detriment of those living nearby. All said, the City decided to employ both available times, doing some of the work at night and the noisier work during the day.

The project was included in the San Diego Fiscal Year 2020 budget on the justification that “the existing slope is eroding. This project will eliminate the possibility of soil slough landing in the travel lane of a primary arterial street.” The project was allocated $425,000 of Regional Transportation Congestion Improvement Program funds. The total cost is $4,597,720. <end_bug_diamond>

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