San Francisco News

Ocean Beach sand management project wraps up

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The big sand management project that has closed part of the Great Highway for the last month is wrapping up. The sand is being dumped along most of the Great Highway from Lincoln Way near Golden Gate Park all the way to Skyline Boulevard near the zoo.

A small army of dump trucks has been rushing back and forth, up and down Ocean Beach loading up with sand on the north end where's there's too much, and dumping it on the southern end where there wasn't enough. The work started August 20 and will finish up this coming Monday, four days ahead of schedule. It will be a relief for anyone who counts on the southbound Great Highway during weekdays. It's been closed between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. this last month so dump trucks could have exclusive use of those lanes.

The sand transfer is a temporary solution to a long-term problem, what to do about chronic and worsening erosion of the coastline right in front of the city's ocean-side water pollution control plant. Damage there would threaten public health and the environment. The city, the GGNRA, and others will be watching what happens to the sand placed in the southern end in as guidance for a long-term solution.

"There are a lot of different proposals, not proposals, but just ideas on the table, and different alternatives being discussed. And one of them is to move this highway back behind the zoo, which is kind of interesting, and let the beach sort of reclaim what it wants to reclaim," said Jean Walsh with SFPUC.

The Ocean Beach Master Plan is one vision for the future looking about 50 years out and it is what a number of stakeholders would like to see happen at Ocean Beach, but it would be very expensive. As of now, no one knows where that money would be coming from.

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