La Jolla Shores infrastructure projects underway

By Ashley Mackin

The Sewer and Water Group 809 Project and Infrastructure Replacement Project began along Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores Dec. 9, so engineers and contractors overseeing the projects provided a question-and-answer session at the Dec. 11 La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) meeting.

The projects include demolition of the 50-year-old storm drain at the end of Avenida de la Playa, and 1,300 feet of piping leading up to it, and repairs on more than 9,000 feet of sewer and water pipes throughout the Shores. The projects will happen concurrently.

City engineer Akram Bassyouni explained the benefit of combining the projects, which came at the encouragement of the LJSA. “This way you have just one person who can control all construction facets,” he said, which eliminates possible traffic control conflicts.

The Infrastructure Replacement Project began with the demolition of the storm drain, which will close off the intersection of Avenida de la Playa at Camino del Oro for at least two-and-a-half months, said community liaison Vic Salazar. The kayak rental companies that use the intersection to launch their kayaks will temporarily launch one block north at Vallecitos.

City traffic engineers visited the site to lend their final approval to traffic detours, a temporary loading zone and parking restrictions created for the project.

The project starts at the beach and will work its way east. It is scheduled for completion in April 2014, in accordance with the summer construction moratorium (Memorial Day to Labor Day).

Because of the summer moratorium, construction must take place during the “height of tidal changes” LJSA chair Tim Lucas explained, and with the rainy season, three workdays are lost every two weeks, which could create delays.

The Avenida De La Playa Infrastruc- ture Replacement budget is $4.5 million, but covers planning and design in addition to construction.

Project 809

Project 809 will replace (or install where needed), sewer and water pipes underneath streets in La Jolla Shores. Wherever possible, the pipeline replacement will be trenchless, Bassyouni said.

Public works information officer Bill Harris explained the trenchless system at a previous LJSA meeting. He said for pipes that still have some integrity and minor thinning of the seams, “You can insert what amounts to a balloon and ... there is an adhesive and sealant that goes around it and you inflate in place,” he said.

“It offers a way to keep the pipe integrity and builds a strong extra layer. It opens that pipe up and you get more life out of it without having to get into the ground along the entire length of the pipe.”

Harris said in using this method, the street opening would be much smaller than traditional construction and add 50 years to the life of the pipe. However, trenchless does not mean there won’t be any trenches, Bassyouni said. Some section of pipes along Avenida de la Playa (between La Jolla Shores and Camino Del Sol) will be re-sloped and require trenching. He said that portion of work would not start until after Labor Day 2014. Crews will work block by block to minimize parking and traffic impacts, and normal working hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but subject to change. The budget for this project is $10.5 million, encompassing planning, design and construction.

All work west of La Jolla Shores Drive will pause during the summer moratorium. However, the work planned for the streets east of La Jolla Shores Drive is not affected by the construction moratorium, and crews will work during the summer on those streets.

Taking the various timelines into account, the last stage of work should be completed in fall 2014.

Construction Timeline

■ Residents who wish to know which blocks will be under construction and when, can e-mail to sign up for regular e-mail updates. However, construction engineer Steve Lindsay cautioned, in order to guarantee accuracy, they could only provide two-week projections.

■ Alternatively, visiting

allows those interested to enter their e-mail address to receive updates for Project 809 and the Infrastructure Replacement Project.