Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last Week's SF PUC CAC Meeting

Last week Bill and I attended a Citizenz Advisory Committee meeting for the SF PUC. The main topic on the agenda was our Sloat erosion, or from their point of view, the impact on the facilities for the Westside Treatment Plant. The main topics were presentations by Coastal Engineer Bob Battallio of PWC, Frank Filice of DPW, and a few comments on the PUC's handling of sea level rise by PUC engineer Jonathan Loiacono. I'll try to get a copy of those presentations and post the Power Points.

Bob presented first and went over some of this history of the area. One of his main points is that the area that eroded was largely unconsolidated fill placed after the construction of the Merced Tunnel, and that the natural shoreline fluctuated on multi-decade cycles. He showed some old photos of when that area was gently sloping grass-covered dunes, and contrasted them with photos of the area today, where steep bluffs are easily undermined. The contrast served to remind the audience that making even the nicest dunes in the area where the shoreline fluctuates will be washed away. He espoused relocating the waste water tunnels in the area.

Frank Filice updated the audience on the DPW's current construction and future plans. The rock revetment that is being constructed to stabalize the toe of the bluff is nearing completion. The cost is coming in at around $2.9M for about 425 ft of length. Much of those costs should be recoverable through California Emergency Management. Phase II of the project consists of stabilizing the top of the bluff, Phase III consists of reworking the Great Highway back a few dozen feet to about the current centerline of roadway. Phase IV consists of reconstructing the dune. He also spoke in detail about how the schedule is working around the Bank Swallows.

My impression is that DPW is glad to have made it through the winter storms and is now working on doing the real engineering work. Likewise, the PUC is becoming more active in the process as they realize the DPW's road may not be enough of a buffer to prevent the PUC from having to worry about erosion.

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