Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization

Stabilization of the Del Mar bluffs is an ongoing, multiphase effort to maintain safe, stable, and reliable train tracks through this stretch of the LOSSAN Corridor. Our goals are to increase safety and service reliability and minimize the chances of track damage due to bluff retreat and seismic events. We accomplish this by installing supports and directing stormwater runoff. To ensure the long-term viability of the corridor, SANDAG is evaluating alternative strategies to relocate the tracks completely off the bluffs.

Previous Bluff Stabilization Efforts

Since 2003, SANDAG and the North County Transit District (NCTD) have completed four stabilization projects between Coast Boulevard and Torrey Pines State Beach. These projects included the installation of more than 230 support columns and investment in drainage infrastructure.

Phase 4 construction occurred between May 2020 and January 2021 and included the installation of additional support columns, construction of a drainage channel on top of the bluffs, repair of drainage infrastructure, and stabilization of existing headwalls.

Phase 5 Stabilization Efforts

In spring 2024, we will begin Phase 5 stabilization efforts. More support columns and drainage improvements will be added, along with new retaining walls, erosion control measures, and native plants. These efforts are critical to protect the bluffs in the event of earthquakes, large storms, and sea level rise.

Phase 5 will cost roughly $88 million and is funded through a combination of state, federal, and local sources. Find construction updates and other updates on our news page.

Multi-colored lines depicting the Phase 5 Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization, new sea wall, and construction staging areas spanning 1.7 miles along the Del Mar coast from Coast Boulevard to N. Torrey Pines Road bridge.

Phase 5 Del Mar Bluffs Stabilization Map showing stabilization efforts, new sea walls and construction staging areas.

Del Mar Bluffs Access Improvements

Many pedestrians enter railroad property between Coast Boulevard and Torrey Pines State Beach to get to the beach or to walk along the bluffs. This creates safety concerns for pedestrians and trains.

In 2023, SANDAG led a coastal access study with support from the City of Del Mar, NCTD, the California Coastal Commission, and Caltrans. The Coastal Connections Conceptual Planning Study, or Del Mar Bluffs Access Improvements project, examined the opportunities and constraints of potential pedestrian trails and rail crossings in Del Mar. We examined improvements such as overcrossings, trails, and beach access points, and presented many potential options to the community. Each option has its own expected benefits, costs, and tradeoffs, and SANDAG will continue to engage the community as design options are developed and refined over the next several years.

North County Transit District