Shores new lifeguard tower won’t be done until the fall

By Dave Schwab

Completion of the new La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Tower, expected by the summer, will be delayed until early fall due to construction glitches.

However, the parking lot building to house emergency lifeguard vehicles, as well as the filtration project to minimize ocean runoff in the Kellogg Park lot, will both be finished by Memorial Day weekend.

The city has a summer moratorium on construction activities that runs from  May 28 (Memorial Day) to Sept. 3 (Labor Day) to protect seasonal businesses.

“Both projects were a little more challenging than expected,” Dave Zoumaras, city deputy director for Engineering and Capital Projects told La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) at its meeting on April 11. “We have made significant progress on design and structural elements of the lifeguard tower — and will be pouring concrete within a couple of weeks — but all of the structural issues will not be resolved before Memorial Day.”

Zoumaras said the project’s contractor “made some mistakes with structural steel in the tower itself” that resulted in “three months of design reviews to fix their mistake.” He added the city wants to ensure the new lifeguard tower is “installed and constructed within code.”

Once work resumes on the La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Tower after Labor Day, Zoumaras said contractors will demolish the existing lifeguard tower.

The new structure is estimated to cost $3.8 million. It will be a  1,485-square-foot, state-of-the-art lifeguard station with an observation tower sporting a 270-degree view, a modern first-aid room, male/female locker rooms, administration areas, and a staff ready room.

At the meeting, LJSA Board approved the city’s request to reserve a maximum of five parking spaces in the Kellogg Park lot until the Fourth of July to help crews working inside on the lifeguard tower expedite the project.

Other LJSA Board news:

• Storm Water Project: City Storm Water Department spokesman Bill Harris said a decision was made to “push off for a year,” the September 2012 start of the Avenida de la Playa Storm Water Infrastructure project, which seeks to resolve recurrent flooding problems threatening pollution of a biologically sensitive area offshore. The project would replace 1,300 feet of storm drain, 1,200 feet of sewer line, and 150 feet of water line at a cost of $3.6 million.

• City Aid:  The board voted to send three letters to the city: 1) a request for money to hire a staff person to help update the Shores Planned District Ordinance (PDO) rules governing commercial and residential development; 2) a Request for Proposal (RFP) to regulate Shores scuba diving businesses, similar to what’s been done with the kayak businesses; 3) a request for funding for a ranger to patrol the Shores, which is densely populated in the summertime.

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