During my time with the City of Pacifica, I have come to realize that here, “winter storms” have an entirely different meaning than in many other places! The storms that have battered us since last Friday created some special challenges and I want to highlight a few of them.
Highway 1 Landslide
Late Sunday night, a landslide on Highway 1 at Shelldance forced closure of the northbound lanes. The Police Department rerouted all traffic onto the southbound lanes in alternate groups of cars. By 7:30 a.m. Monday morning Caltrans equipment was on-site, removing the material and cleaning up. Caltrans’ geotechnical staff reviewed the site later that morning. By early evening, all lanes were open and traffic was moving freely. Tuesday’s morning commute flowed normally.
From the City’s perspective, the response from Caltrans was a marked improvement compared to the last major traffic tie-up in 2015. This time they were very responsive to our calls and emails requesting information and very sensitive to the impact you, our residents, experienced Monday morning as you tried to start your morning commute. I appreciate their changed attitude.
I’m also thankful that the slide did not injure anyone!
Drainage System Failure Behind Manor Fire Station
A second challenge has been the growing sink hole behind the Fire Station in Manor; the recent storms have expanded the hole significantly and created safety concerns for traffic on this stretch of Edgemar Avenue. The hole was caused by an underground drainage pipe becoming misaligned with age, and with last year’s rainfall, the system began to fail and produced the initial problem.
Last October we were notified that we were successful in obtaining funding from the State of California in response to last year’s submission of twelve repair projects, including this one, for grant funding consideration. Repair work for this project must be timed seasonally so that water flow is not interrupted; however, the process of selecting a contractor was not completed before the start of the rainy season. Unfortunately, the rainfall this winter has been amazingly high and made the problem worse. Public Works brought in the contractor and an outside consultant to advise on immediate actions we can take now. In the meantime, the section of Edgemar Avenue immediately adjacent to the site has been closed.
Downed Trees Posed a Serious Problem
Over the weekend we received 33 calls for service, 26 of them were for downed trees. We experienced flooding in the Linda Mar area but, fortunately, no private property was affected. Staff attributes the positive flooding results to the proactive actions taken last week to get ready for storm conditions.
Not included in this tally is the tree that fell and crushed a house, trapping a resident inside until PG&E arrived and de-energized the power lines that had fallen with the tree. City staff also responded and helped rescue the resident and clear the roadway. There were other emergencies as well that kept us busy.
I wish us all a safe weekend, free from landslides, sink holes and falling trees!
Please let me know if you have comments or questions, and