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Bird Rock’s Midway Bluff repairs to begin this fall

Hot on the heels of the La Jolla Hermosa Park sidewalk project (underway at the ocean side of Chelsea Avenue to replace an unstable dirt path with a concrete walkway) another long-awaited Bird Rock project will break ground this fall.

At the May 5 Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) meeting, it was announced the Midway Bluff repair job is underway to restore the overlook at the end of Midway Street that began to erode 15 years ago. Heavy rains, coupled with a blockage to the drainpipe, caused the water to flood the bluffs and accelerated erosion. A fence went up five years ago to keep people at a safe distance.

The fenced-off Midway Bluff overlook.
The fenced-off Midway Bluff overlook.

Project Manager George Freiha said the design phase should be complete next month, with construction to start in September or October. “This project calls for the restoration of the bluff by building a supporting wall, restoring the landscaped area, adding an ADA-compliant travel ramp (to the overlook), a concrete path and a concrete bench,” he said.

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Construction is expected to take six months, with work hours 7:30 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The pricetag is $160,000.

“We had some delays in the design phase due to budget limits at the city level,” Freiha said. “Also, working next to the beach requires additional environmental clearances and we have been working with the city’s Development Services Department to get things approved in a way that is efficient for the project and good for the community.”

George Freiha, Midway Bluff Repair Project manager.
George Freiha, Midway Bluff Repair Project manager.

Further delays stemmed from time spent ensuring the new plans will better manage potential rain. “The Development Services Department looks into everything, and we had to study the drainage to make sure the erosion doesn’t happen again,” he said. “We looked at the whole development; everything that contributes to that pipe was studied and calculated to see if the pipe can handle everything that comes from that tributary area — and that’s part of what took so long.”

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The foliage will be replaced with drought-resistant landscaping, Freiha said, but will require 26 months of plant establishment and watering. Afterward, the city’s Department of Parks & Rec will take over maintenance.

In other Bird Rock news:

BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar said detailed reports of water-wasting incidents are needed and can be sent to info@birdrockcc.org
BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar said detailed reports of water-wasting incidents are needed and can be sent to info@birdrockcc.org

MAD takes water-wise measures: BRCC treasurer Barbara Dunbar said although the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) — which assists with community improvements not covered by the city — is already operating with reduced water levels, reports of water-wasting incidences are needed. Sprinklers located on the medians that line La Jolla Boulevard are sometimes run over by cars and subsequently malfunction. BRCC has targeted problem sprinklers and relocated them, and will water the area differently. “If you see a problem, let us know as soon as you can,” Dunbar said. “Be as specific as possible — the location, the time of day the problem was spotted — anything else that might help us. The problem area may not be obvious later on.” E-mail reports to info@birdrockcc.org

Police offer burglary prevention tips: Members of the Bird Rock Neighborhood Watch had a meeting with police last month to address summer-related spikes in crime. Three points were emphasized:

• Burglars are getting into homes through unlocked doors and windows. Keep doors and windows locked, even if it’s hot outside.

• If going on vacation, don’t announce on social media that you will be out of town and your house will be vacant.

• When calling the police, relay the severity of the situation honestly, and give police cause to prioritize your call. Get an incident number, so if you have to call back a few hours later, you can use the number as proof you’ve already called, but police have yet to respond.

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BRCC president Jacqueline Bell said police resources shift to the beach areas during the summer, so there will be more police presence. “If you notice repeat incidences and report them to police, they will make the problem part of their patrol,” she said.