Ocean Beach Sand Mangement Project to partly close Great Highway
The southbound lanes of the Great Highway will be partly closed for most of every weekday starting Monday, Aug. 20 as part of a project that will truck tons of sand to the erosion-scarred south end of Ocean Beach.
Parking at Ocean Beach also will be affected by the Ocean Beach Sand Management Project, with lots on the north end of the beach and the lot at Sloat Boulevard seeing the greatest impact. At the parking lot opposite the Beach Chalet, about 20 parking spots on the south end of the lot, near Stairwell 28, will be used for the project. Parking south of Sloat Boulevard west of the Oceanside Water Pollution Control plant also may be affected.
The Ocean Beach Sand Management Project will move between 100,000 and 150,000 cubic yards of sand from the north end of Ocean Beach to the area south of Sloat Boulevard. That’s about enough sand to fill the beds of between 62,000 and 93,000 Ford F150 pickup trucks.
Local residents, beachgoers and anyone driving in the Ocean Beach area should “just be aware that there’s going to be a lot of truck traffic,” said Steve Ortega of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which manages Ocean Beach.
To accommodate that truck traffic, the Great Highway’s southbound lanes will be closed every weekday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The road will be open every night and weekend, and no work is scheduled for weekends or nights.
Electronic traffic signs have been posted in several locations warning of the upcoming closure and directing drivers to use Sunset Boulevard as an alternative route, but as with any closure of the Great Highway many drivers will likely use the residential Lower Great Highway instead.
The project is scheduled to wrap up by Sept. 28.
While they will be adding many tons of sand to the beach, workers also will be taking some material away, including a set of steel poles that were installed years ago as part of a beach-monitoring project.
“We’re going to remove those monitoring poles that are out there. We’re going to remove any hazardous concrete that has rebar,” Ortega said.
The results of this sand-placement project will be watched closely to see if the sand can effectively protect the shoreline of south Ocean Beach — and the network of City wastewater infrastructure under and near the Great Highway — from the erosion caused by a rising sea level and the battering of winter storms. If it works, the City might not have to turn as frequently to measures such as dumping rocks on the beach to protect City property.
“We want to know how long the sand will stay in place,” said Ortega. He said surveying equipment would be used to observe any movement of the newly placed sand and how long it stays put.
Officials with the City and the GGNRA, as well as planners with the Ocean Beach Master Plan, have said they will be looking at the Ocean Beach Sand Management Project as a test case for a potential project that would place about two to three times as much sand in the area over a period of years. That sand might come from the San Francisco Bar, a large underwater sand bar west of the Golden Gate that is dredged every year to allow large ships to enter San Francisco Bay.
Moving 100,000 cubic yards of sand from the Kelly’s Cove area to the beach south of Sloat also solves some problems created by an abundance of sand on the north end of the beach. So much sand has accumulated there that this spring it buried the seawall and sidewalk, plus parts of parking lots and the Great Highway.
Read more about the Ocean Beach Sand Management Project: